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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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john bunyan

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namas

Yes it does. Here for a start:

Cost of EU etc HM Treasury

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Quickbeam

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fm

Are you suggesting that the primary consideration over the last 40 years for anyone casting a vote has been cast positively on our continued membership of the EU.

In my case it's been very much one of the least things compared to other domestic matters of the day that has influenced my vote for any election I've voted in during that time.

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Jock1e

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Probably an attempt by the Prime Minister to stay in power after the next Election.

He knows most of the country would like to vote on whether we stay or whether we go, and as labour are against it looks like a good vote catcher to me.

On top of that if Scotland vote for Independence the chances of Labour winning the next election will be reduced.

What we have is a very wise PM who knows how to stay in power even though he is not a very good PM.

I would go for the out vote just because I do not like laws that stop us deporting murderers rapist and Terrorist suspects back to their own countries.They should be made to face the consequences for what they have done.

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Quickbeam

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...which probably best answers spider9's question as he intends it to be.

"EU In/Out? Is a referendum the best way?" So I'll answer YES to that, because in a normal domestic election it's only UKIP that make it a major issue, we cast our vote based on numerous other issues. Continued EU membership requires a discussion and answer in it's own right, and deserves to not be marginalised by normal domestic partisan issues.

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Quickbeam

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Well roll on the proper debate then, but I can't see it being sorted with a simple YES/NO, IN/OUT question.

I predict that it'll be one of the most contradictory and confusingly worded referendum questions ever offered.

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johndrew

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fourm member

You appear to lack an understanding of the difference in the electorates reason for choosing a candidate. There is a visible difference between local/domestic policies and those affecting us internationally. I would suggest that most MPs are elected primarily for their position on local issues rather than any other reason. This is possibly less true of MEPs where an increase in UKIP appears to indicate a greater scepticism of Europe.

However, MPs chosen locally appear to have a larger percentage of sceptics in their ranks in recent years than previously, but this may be chance rather than design; on the other hand it could be the effect of dissatisfaction with the impact of the EU has caused such selection. It would be interesting to see the result of a truly representative poll (carried out by such as MORI) as to the opinion of the UK electorate of the impact of the EU on their lives.

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wiz-king

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When I know what the question(s) are I will think more about the answer.

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Forum Editor

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johndrew

"The original 1974 referendum (under Ted Heath) simply asked if we wanted free trade".

No it didn't - there was no referendum under Ted Heath. Heath negotiated our entry into the European Economic Community in 1973. Prior to that we had twice applied to join (in 1963 and 1967) but our applications were refused because the French President of the time - Charles de Gaulle - was afraid that if we joined English would become the common European language.

The referendum was in 1975, as I said earlier, and was held by Harold Wilson's Labour government.

The question asked was not about Free trade, as you appear to believe. It was simply: "Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?"

Harold Wilson, and the majority of the Labour Cabinet supported a 'yes' vote, and on the day 67% of the voters said 'yes'. It was a resounding victory for those who believed we should stay in. There was no way that we could possibly have been asked other questions about what you call "other encumbrances" because they couldn't be foreseen.

As for your remark that "I believe the UK population are far from stupid and have the ability to analyse the facts and detail if put in front of them" I'm afraid I don't share your optimism.

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Forum Editor

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namtas

"It is interesting that all those who write with so much conviction that it would be disastrous for us the sever links with the EC never back their beliefs with hard evidence, is that because none exists."

Talk about stating the obvious. Of course none exists, because we haven't left the EU. In the same way, those who write with such conviction that we should be better off if we pull out never back their beliefs with evidence, because there isn't any.

We're all expressing opnions, and none of us can be sure we're right. What we can do however, is used our brains to analyse the information that's freely available to us so our opinions can be informed, rather than be based on prejudice, or on a gut feeling.

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namtas

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john bunyan

Your link is a 1975 report. I am sure that everyone is wiser today but even so that report even at that stage suggests caution

**However, there are a number of limitations with these studies • Analyses are largely based on pessimistic assumptions and do not consider possible reform scenarios**

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