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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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sunnystaines

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when we voted last time it was all to do with trade, similar to the old EFTA. But things have got out of control and politics and laws etc have all crept in as well as it being a cash cow wasting billions.

Why can the UK not have a vote with 6 months re in or out why have we been fobbed off with after the next election.

I do think the EU has lost its original purpose. The old EFTA yes EU no.

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nickf

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I agree with Sunnystaines (sic) , THE EU has become a political beast , rather than the trade focused organisation we signed up for . WE put in far more than we get out . If we don't pull out soon , we will be too far down the road of economic and political union to be able to pull out , and I for one do not want to live in the Empire of Europe .

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Mr Mistoffelees

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I agree with the FE, leaving the EU would be economic suicide.

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morddwyd

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Interesting times.

What if the UK votes to leave the EU, but Scotland votes to leave the UK and gets EU membership?

How many Chief Executives are thinking of asking their research departments for a feasibility study of migrating from England to Scotland?

How many "Yes" campaigners are even now looking to see how to turn the prospect to advantage?

Generally speaking, and I have no evidence of this, just an opinion, politicians up here seem to be more on the side of the "Auld Alliance" than the "Auld Enemy".

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Quickbeam

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FE/fourm member

My post demonstrates the simplest common perception of our feelings towards the EU. And if there was a simple IN or OUT vote tomorrow, there would be a very real prospect of being OUT by tomorrow teatime.

From that I expect the EU to look closely at it's persistent insistence that they always know best, whether they are talking to our government or talking down to us mere plebs, that we don't want a Federal Union, that we want them to listen and accept what the majority electorate want, that we consider that they are paid sufficiently handsomely to survive the recession without any salary increases for several years, that none of us intended for the direction that we are being furrowed into was the way to go, etc, etc, etc...

In short to stay in we need a fundamental reappraisal of the purpose and benefits of the EU. What we have is not what we ordered and is not of merchantable quality.

Without that assurance, I remain an OUT vote.

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spider9

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Sadly, I wasn't intending this thread to be about whether anyone has already made their decision, I was rather hoping there would be views on the use of a referendum, and whether it will mean that people will be subjected to 'influences' set out in very black & white terms.

It will be easy for one 'side' to find examples of silly consequences of EU rules (yet forget that UK laws can often be equally as daft!)but the benefits of belonging to a large global trading organisation may not be as simple to actually demonstrate to the man in the street.

We did, as FE said, have one in 1974 when we joined - but I would suggest that the average person now has much greater media pressures on them to 'get out'.

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spider9

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morddwyd

Yes, indeed the Scottish question does makes things interesting.

Like you, I feel there is less antipathy up here towards Europe, and the UK referendum may well help the 'Yes' campaign.

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Quickbeam

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Is a referendum the best way?

Well they're not listening to any other reasoning put to them. And I don't think that you can separate your post reason from why we would vote one way or another, they are linked inextricably.

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Forum Editor

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"We did, as FE said, have one in 1974 when we joined"

I shouldn't have said that, because of course we joined in 1973, and there was no referendum. The Labour government was elected in 1974, and they held the referendum in 1975.

I'm sorry for my earlier confusion - put it down to snow on the brain.

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Forum Editor

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Quickbeam

"Well they're not listening to any other reasoning put to them."

I hope you don't believe that a referendum result would be based on reasoned thought, because it wouldn't.

As others have said, the complexities of the issue are simply too great for most people to be able to have a complete grasp of the subject. A referendum result would largely be based on judgements made for emotional, 'gut instinct' reasons, and that's where the danger lies.

Once we leave the EU we would find that the world was suddenly a colder, less friendly place, and our current economic problems would be greatly increased. We need to be in Europe more than most people realise.

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