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EU In/Out? Is a referendum the best way?


spider9
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I'd always thought we were a Parliamentary Democracy, and, as such, we elect paid representatives to take difficult decisions on our behalf.

Membership of Europe is a difficult , complicated topic, and most people (including myself) would be hard pushed to appreciate all the pros and cons - so the populace will now be bombarded by media propaganda aimed at the lowest common denominator, I suspect.

Loads of 'crazy' EU stories will emerge and be fed to the Great British public, with 'good' EU stories being more difficult to show. Hence the media barons will, once again, get their way and politicians can then 'blame' us if it turns out bad.

Weak leadership I'm afraid.

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hssutton

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Well I guess along with many others at the time I was a FOOL. A small extract from the Referendum pamphlet issued in 1975

Remember: All the other countries in the Market today enjoy, like us, democratically elected Governments answerable to their own Parliaments and their own voters. They do not want to weaken their Parliaments any more than we would."

I'm with Quickbeam on this.

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fourm member

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Text of the pamphlet in full.

From which it is clear that political union was a central part of the debate.

Literally top of the list of 'The aims of the Common Market' is;

'To bring together the peoples of Europe.'

Much of what it says is still relevant today especially when it talks about the fiction that a UK outside the EU would have some amazing freedom of action uninfluenced by other world powers and the idea that we could disconnect from what happens in Europe.

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Flak999

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fourm member

As for advancing arguments for the EU. To what purpose? As I've said, any referendum will be determined by the undecideds who are receptive to discussion.

You also have a curious way of advancing your argument! I would have thought that as a staunch supporter of the union you would be able to list many benefits of our membership, and in doing so persuade all of the doubters as to the error of their thinking!

Are you saying that those of us with polarised opinions (you for, me against) cannot be persuaded by logical argument of the rightness of the others cause? As for the undecideds who are "receptive to discussion" how would you seek to persuade them?

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Flak999

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fourm member

'To bring together the peoples of Europe.'

As nebulous a phrase as it's possible to write. It could mean anything!

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fourm member

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Flak999

I think you'll find your 2:01 post answers your 1:58 post.

It is not for me to persuade people; others can do that much better. As I said, the 1975 pamphlet makes many of the relevant points.

It's a fiction to think we could exist in the modern world without alliances. It is a fiction to believe that we would not be affected by events inside the EU if we were out. The only difference would be that we could not have any input into the discussions.

It is, also, a fiction to believe that the UK parliament would enact a raft of xenophobic policies as soon as we left the EU.

On that last point, I'd love to see the Venn diagram showing people who think we should leave the EU so that the UK parliament makes all the decisions and people who think the UK parliament is made up of greedy, lazy, self-serving MPs who only have their own interests at heart.

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Quickbeam

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Am I right in feeling that a lot of the get out by tomorrow afternoon's, would reconsider their position by 2017, if we go a considerable way to addressing our EU hates as outlined in the PM's speech?

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Flak999

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fourm member

It is not for me to persuade people

Perhaps that's because you can't? As for the 1975 pamphlet I commend the "WILL PARLIAMENT LOSE ITS POWER? section to your attention. Perhaps you will tell me how much of that is true today? Particulary this paragraph:

Remember: All the other countries in the Market today enjoy, like us, democratically elected Governments answerable to their own Parliaments and their own voters. They do not want to weaken their Parliaments any more than we would."

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Flak999

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Quickbeam

As I have said before I am not against mutually beneficial trading arrangements. But as far as I am concerned political union is a red line for me.

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fourm member

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Flak999

'Perhaps that's because you can't?'

I am not a miracle worker. That's why I recognise that nothing I say will convince someone whose views are deeply entrenched and based on an unwillingness to examine evidence rather than rely on prejudice.

Just how do you think there can be 'mutually beneficial trading arrangements' if the UK is outside the EU?

Do you really think the French Prime Minister will say 'We have decided to buy X from the UK because that means there will be fewer jobs for EU workers?'

It is a valid argument to say you want out of the EU regardless of the consequences.

It is a valid, though highly speculative, argument to say that we can reposition our trading arrangements so as not to suffer from leaving the EU.

What is not valid is to suggest that we could walk away from the EU and still operate on exactly the same basis economically.

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Woolwell

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The 1975 pamphlet contains "Will Parliament lose its power?". It mentions the Council of Ministers not the European Parliament. It carefully skirts around a political federation and specifically states that all Parliaments will retain their independence. It constantly mentions Market treaties. I infer from that political union was not part of the debate.

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