Author Archives: Andrew Duff

The dangers of the ‘people’s vote’

As the Chequers agreement and White Paper evince, the details of the interim package on offer are highly complicated. Submitting the terms and conditions of the Article 50 negotiations to a popular vote would be fraudulent. A referendum would be unlikely to elucidate the pros and cons of the Facilitated Customs Arrangement, the future of the City of London or the Irish backstop protocol. Rather, the hapless voter would face the same dilemma as vacillating parliamentarians – namely, a crude and invidious choice between the government’s Brexit deal and the cliff edge.

Ms. Miller & co make two gigantic misjudgments. The first is that, in the event of a referendum rejecting the Barnier package, the EU would be prepared to open up a new negotiation under Article 50 or to suspend Article 50 until the Brits sort themselves out. Having offered Cameron one new settlement for Britain in 2016 and May another in 2018, toleration of the British will be at an end. There will be no third negotiation. So what would be the referendum question? Moreover, on which side would Lib Dems be campaigning?

The second big mistake is to assume that the Remainers would ‘win’ the second referendum no matter the question. Opinion polls suggest that the outcome would be just as close as the first: certainly the assumption that Remain would win handsomely and settle the business of Britain’s place in Europe is an arrogant one, not supported by the facts.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 102 Comments

Opinion: EU Bill is bad Tory policy

The European Union Bill is a Tory policy. The Liberal Democrats went into the last election arguing for a referendum on whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU. Thankfully, having lost the election, we were not in a position to test public opinion on that one.

The Conservative party wanted a referendum on the Lisbon treaty in order to repatriate powers and to entrench national sovereignty. On losing the election they discovered that Lisbon was already in force and could not be undone. So their new tactic was to undermine the Lisbon settlement whenever opportunity arose, and it …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , and | 26 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 5th Jul - 10:29pm
    @ Richard Underhill "conveniently the politicians who made the decision to omit social care from the NHS are all dead, even Harold Wilson". I'm not...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 5th Jul - 10:26pm
    Can Labour win an absolute Commons majority under FPTP? If not, then some kind of deal could be on the cards. It’s interesting that, just...
  • User Avatarrichard underhill 5th Jul - 9:39pm
    Katharine Pindar 5th Jul '20 - 7:16pm Yes, and conveniently the politicians who made the decision to omit social care from the NHS are all...
  • User AvatarKevin Langford 5th Jul - 8:54pm
    Picking up a few points that Anthony and Peter have made on cars The 6500 target is I think just for rapid chargers on motorways....
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 5th Jul - 7:16pm
    Having listened to the excellent interview with Sir Simon Stevens again, courtesy of BBC I player, he was linking the idea that Beveridge would want...
  • User AvatarPeter 5th Jul - 6:04pm
    Antony, where are you going to get the electricity to power millions of cars, especially on a windless night. Where will you get the cobalt,...