EU Referendum: Are you still undecided?

Those wishing to stay in the EU will point to the economic benefits of membership of what is still the world’s largest single market in an increasingly dangerous world and the unnecessary risks of our coming out, while those opposed to continued membership will cite the need to take back sovereignty ceded gradually to Brussels over the past forty years and to regain control of our borders. Their view is that then we could strike deals with the rest of the world and have a much more money to spend as we would not be paying into the EU coffers.

Neither side of the argument is in any way watertight. The ‘Common Market’ which some of us voted to remain in over forty years ago was very different from what we have created today. There are serious questions about the democratic deficit and whether it is still fit for purpose. Despite delivering prosperity and a certain degree of stability for over half a century there are some serious question marks over its its long term future. The Euro has hardly been a massive success and the EU GDP is currently shrinking. Probably the single biggest crisis for us all both in and out of the EU is how it will deal with migration from the Middle East and Africa, which currently shows no sign of abating.

Some cynics will argue that the ‘deal’ the Prime Minister has negotiated from Brussels is no more of a deal than the one Harold Wilson claimed he had got back in 1975. I would not. Whilst it was never likely that major change would occur overnight, despite the Prime Minister’s efforts, what he has done is to open the door, maybe without realising it, to possible major change in the EU in the future which, if you believe the words of the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, following last weekend’s EU Summit, many other states will be keen to support. With the United Kingdom leading the way, we could have a real chance to shape the EU to reflect more the aspirations of its citizens and not just those of multinationals and big business in general.

Of course, if we were to vote to leave the EU life would go on. There is no guarantee, however, that we could forge trade links with the rest of the world as easily as some think as a small country geographically if not economically, as we can whilst being part of the EU. There is also no guarantee that companies such as Siemens, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and many others would remain here unless a deal could be struck with our former partners quickly for us to gain access again to the single market. It is true that you could argue that our current partners need us more than we need them, but can we be certain that they would want to play ball if they had been rejected?

The problem for those of you who are undecided is that nobody really knows what a Brexit will produce. One thing that does strike me is that we always seem to give the impression to our partners in Europe that we want it all our own way. What happened to the ‘give and take’ necessary for any successful marriage to work? Sovereignty is an issue that keeps cropping up. What membership of the EU asks members to do is to ‘pool’ their sovereignty in certain areas. Over the past few years most of the legislation passed at Westminster has had nothing at all to do with the EU and this will continue to be the case. Don’t forget, it’s not just the United Kingdom that has agreed to cede certain powers to the EU but all the other 27 member states as well. Why should we be any different?

* John Marriott is a former Liberal Democrat councillor from Lincolnshire.

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45 Comments

  • Denis Loretto 25th Mar '16 - 2:31pm

    One of the striking aspects of the Brexit campaign is the way their argument has been changing, particularly as to final destination. At first it was “We are one of the world’s leading countries. This European Union is holding us back from our true destiny and weighing us down with unnecessary rules and obligations such as free movement etc. Let’s break free from all that and face the world as GREAT Britain again. We are big enough and important enough to be completely independent.”
    Gradually as reality and the way the world actually works begin to sink in it is realised that the single European market is still going to be there and we will need to trade with its 27 (and counting) members. So first of all we will be like Norway and then when the drawbacks of that are spelled out we will be like Canada. But that doesn’t work either. So now, we will rapidly negotiate a “British Deal” which more and more looks like what we already have, especially with the quite significant opt-outs and assurances Cameron has achieved – protection for our dominance in financial services in particular. However we would pay nothing for the access to and administration of the single market and would accept no rules on freedom of movement of labour despite having total freedom of movement of capital.

    Having been away for a couple of days I have just put myself through watching on iplayer the questioning of Boris Johnson at the Parliamentary Committee on Wednesday. It was an astonishing performance. Johnson seemed to have come totally unprepared apart from endlessly repeated assertions that Brexit would cause the the UK “no economic shock at all” and it should be easy to conclude rapidly a deal with our erstwhile EU partners which would be virtually identical to our current membership of the single market but without the financial contributions and with no freedom of movement of labour. Everyone who even hinted otherwise was volubly rubbished and accused of having political motives – including the Governor of the Bank of England. This latter accusation he subsequently tried to deny but it is plainly on the record.

    It was frankly embarrassing but not at all amusing, given the risk to people’s livelihood that he was airily dismissing. How anyone could even think of putting this man forward for the leader of any political party, let alone the country I cannot imagine.

  • Actually no one really knows what `remain` looks like. With a weakening Euro (which we may have to prop up due to a two speed economic Europe) it could mean that we are forced to pool our aspirations with those that aren’t able to increase their GDP while they are in the Euro.

    On immigration and security we have the illiberal concept of asking our lowest paid to shoulder the burden of open free movement of labour and immigration without even alleviating this responsibility with information and being open and honest with these people about this particular economic role. I’ve yet to hear one politician or anyone in the upper echelons of our society ask to compete on wages or their council having their share of immigration.

    On whether or not Europe sees us as over-demanding. Why should the fifth largest economy in the world and the one with the highest growth in the G7 care? We should be calling the shots anyway. I thought our European partners were our friends – on the one hand Remain use project fear with as Pres Hollande said `consequences` on the other hand they are supposed to be our friends. They are strange friends.

    Lib Dems are in a bubble. They need to understand the concerns of those at the sharp end of the European project instead of thinking the EU as an automatic faith reflex. Furthermore, win or lose it’ll be good for the Lib Dems to stop the `nodding donkey act` with Cameron and these `factoid memes` and level with everyone in the UK. Make the default leaving and explain why Remaining is better for the long-term and why the European project is better than leave in terms of global economics.

  • Peter Watson 25th Mar '16 - 3:27pm

    @John Marriott “Can you imagine a summit in a year’s time between Prime Minister Johnson and President Trump? Now that’s a nightmare scenario!”
    On the contrary, you could make a fortune selling tickets to watch that! A decade of Bremner, Bird & Fortune sketches rolled into one.

  • Peter Watson 25th Mar '16 - 3:32pm

    “Are you still undecided?”
    For me there is no “still” about it. I would always have unthinkingly voted to remain in the EU, and I probably still lean in that direction, but since the starting gun was fired for the In/Out debate I have become increasingly undecided.

  • Laurence Cox 25th Mar '16 - 4:02pm

    While I am still committed to Britain staying in the EU, I think it essential that the EU addresses its democratic deficit. For example, Jean-Claude Juncker was elected President of the European Commission with just 12.3% of the European electorate voting for the Party (EPP) whose lead candidate he was. The way that the party groups (particularly S&D and EPP) stitched up his election by agreeing that whoever’s group got the largest share of the overall vote would not be opposed for President, must not be allowed to happen again.

  • Conor McGovern 26th Mar '16 - 12:56pm

    Colin: “There is absolutely no vision about why we should stay, or why we should leave. I find myself chosing entirely between negative reasons to vote one way or another.”
    Same here. At heart I’m a liberal and a European, but on the other hand I’m a democrat and see nothing patriotic about shackling Britain or any European country to a bloated austerity machine! If we could have a Europe of easy trade and cooperation, I’d vote for it in a heartbeat, but what signal will Brexit give to our neighbours? Will it bolster the sick-inducing Farage types? All I hear is negative propaganda and vague assertions from both sides. Stumped so far.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 26th Mar '16 - 1:26pm

    A very good article , the best , or , for me ,it is , from John I have seen, because I am undecided and fed up of the presumption that we as Liberal Democrats are gung ho for the EU !

  • Denis Loretto 26th Mar '16 - 2:32pm

    @ Jane

    May I just say that you are of course right to say there are uncertainties either way – life is full of uncertainties. However I do not see the merit of acting now as if the EU was headed for the rocks and diving overboard. I think the EU will be with us for a very long time to come and despite the difficulty of turning it around if and when the rocks loom, I for one think the 28 nations (and counting) who are involved in it will find a way to do so. Also the UK is particularly well placed to thrive, given the special position it has carved out – particularly the opt-outs from the Eurozone and Schengen.

    As for your comment – “I thought our European partners were our friends – on the one hand Remain use project fear with as Pres Hollande said `consequences` on the other hand they are supposed to be our friends. They are strange friends” – look at what we would be facing them with – “Despite your efforts to provide us with major opt-outs and concessions we are leaving the EU. We now want to opt back in to the single market and continue to send 45% of our exports to it but we will not accept the freedom of movement which applies to the other 27 members and we will stop making any financial contribution to the costs of running the single market.” I think they would be the ones entitled to say “strange friend”.

  • Mostly edging toward in on the economics, but increasingly drawn to the out argument political reasons. The problem for me is that I look at the EU and I don’t actually like what it stands for that much. It seems to me the current problem with politics is that there is a political class that does deals amongst itself and pays very little attention to the electorate. It trundles on with ever reduced voting figures and the assumption that it will always be able to do this, that it doesn’t really have work to be elected. I sometimes think it could do with a big sharp scary shock.

  • A few days a go I got a call from LibDem HQ asking me for a donation to aid the party’s IN campaign. I’m sorry but the answer was a clear NO. To my extreme disappointment the caller persisted and started firing inept “fear” based misinformation at me – exactly what I’d not want any donation to be funding.
    I honestly don’t know which way I will vote and that seems to be a widely shared stance. So too is the concern that the appeals from both sides are based on fear and misinformation. Libdems appear to have sided with a strange coalition that includes the left and Cameron.
    I guess what we really want is: IN but in a “better” EU. Cameron failed to get the necessary changes and that’s not just his failure, it’s a failure by the other EU states, they want UK to stay but don’t want to make the changes the UK needs.

    There’s a widespread view among those who were around when we signed up that we intended to join a *common market* not the pan-European government the EC is becoming.

    I think LibDems should differentiate ourselves from the polarised opinions of others and take the stance of being the honest broker. We should state that “we trust our members to make their own decision on Brexit and will strive to support their decision making by striving to provide impartial information and analysis of the arguments.”

    I wonder what would happen if opinion polls were indicating a strong preference for OUT, would we see a repeat of the situation with the Scottish referendum where it resulted in a last minute panic rush of extra concessions? As I understand it the current polling indicates stronger OUT sympathies in the older generation, relative apathy in the young. It is the older generation who are most likely to participate in the vote and so although the balance of the polls usually favours IN, if nothing changes the result will be OUT.

  • Bill le Breton 27th Mar '16 - 1:00pm

    Rob the answer to your question in the last para is Yes – of course the Scottish example would be repeated if Leave looked like they were going to win.

    Imagine Leave has a lead on May 1st. We’d see the same panic to actually offer the whole of the EU renewal and reform.

    So, why aren’t we campaigning on the basis of our policy, not on Cameron’s policy? We are being Cameron’s poodle again.

    Anthony Hook very helpfully linked to this policy paper on LDV on the 23rd March.
    Here it is https://www.libdemvoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Europe-Policy-Paper.pdf

    Campaign on it now … and be the provider of solutions in May and June.

  • Matthew Huntbach 27th Mar '16 - 5:08pm

    All you arguing or considering the case or “out” here are mugs. Complete and utter mugs. The Out campaign is being funded by extreme economic right-wingers who don’t like the EU because they don’t like the idea of countries coming together to challenge the power of shadowy big money.

    Oh, sure, to attract the support of you lot, they put it in terms of “democracy”, “more control for British people” etc. But it is being run by people who believe the opposite of that – people who want to privatise everything, hand control over to private companies. Do you really think all those right-wing Tories and the right-wing press who are pushing hardest for Brexit are doing so in order to create a social democratic Britain in which the people will have real control over what happens?

    What we are seeing is an argument between pragmatic moderate right-wingers, who can see the economic arguments for the EU, and the extremists who want to turn Britain into a shady tax haven run by and for shady financiers. However, in order to gain support for what they want: an end to any sort of democratic control, a complete aristocracy, they make out they are for the opposite. They make out that a vote to leave the EU will turn Britain back into how it was decades ago. Well, if that was what they REALLY wanted, they would be arguing for a reverse of privatisation, a return to mass council housing, more council control of schools and other services and so on. They aren’t, are they? They are the people who ended all that, and they want to push it still further down that way.

    If you vote for “Out” you are voting to hand complete control of our country to these people, without the EU as a little bit of brake on them. It is this EU acting a brake on them that they say is an “attack on democracy”. No, the only people they want to run things is just themselves, and that is what they mean by “democracy”, it is aristocracy by them, not any sort of return of real democracy.

  • Mathew,
    But the in campaign is also supported by economic right-wingers. I do not see that many big unaccountable businesses arguing for out, do you? Look at the in campaigners and supporters. Cameron, Blaire, Osborne, various bankers, various US politician. It’s not really a left wing economic argument v a right-wing one and it’s not like the treatment of Greece or Spain or any country under the yolk of austerity is that noble within the EU. The EU forced Greece to sell it national assets to private enterprise etc.
    Also. who leads the out campaign is pretty much irrelevant because the general elections would still function in the same way.

  • Matthew Huntbach 27th Mar '16 - 9:25pm

    Glenn

    It’s not really a left wing economic argument v a right-wing one and it’s not like the treatment of Greece or Spain or any country under the yolk of austerity is that noble within the EU.

    No. The issue with Greece is that it borrowed money and couldn’t pay it back. The same would apply if it were not in the EU.

  • The thing is the EU is of the economic right. Being in the EU has not really stopped attacks on welfare or increased social housing or ended tax avoidance or over reliance on the banking system or any such thing. In fact it virtually never intervenes on any social or economic issues within any particular nation. If David Cameron had simply decided to restrict or end benefits to everyone in Britain it would not be an issue in the EU. In fact most of the blocks on the economic right have come from fear of the electorate which will continue in or out.
    Actually, the more I think about it the more inclined I am to vote out.

  • Matthew – and isn’t the TTIP the EU is busy negotiating merely a vehicle to wrest power from governments and strengthen the hands of global (US?) big business?

  • Matthew Huntbach 27th Mar '16 - 11:35pm

    Glenn

    Being in the EU has not really stopped attacks on welfare or increased social housing or ended tax avoidance or over reliance on the banking system or any such thing. In fact it virtually never intervenes on any social or economic issues within any particular nation.

    To me that just proves the nonsense of the claims of the “Out” right-wingers who you are so enthusiastically supporting. It is the Tory right, those in favour of the biggest cuts who most want “out”. They are fooling the gullible by claiming that the EU is stop countries from doing what they want, when by the very line you put here, that is not true. Other countries in the EU have not experienced this sort of thing. We have experienced it because we have chosen to elect Tory governments. But what a great excuse it is for the right-wing Tories when things go wrong to blame the EU for it.

    And, as John Marriott puts it, they have this great line they can use – get people to vote for them on the grounds that they are stupid and so they should vote for stupid policies. Donald Trump does this even better.

  • Matthew Huntbach 27th Mar '16 - 11:38pm

    rob hindle

    Matthew – and isn’t the TTIP the EU is busy negotiating merely a vehicle to wrest power from governments and strengthen the hands of global (US?) big business?

    And have the Tory right-wing out people ever spoken up against that? Or against any other way the USA is dominating us? No, what they really want is to make us the 51st state of the USA. But turn the gullibles’ attention away from that by making out the EU is the dominating factor.

    You lot are being DEEPY FOOLED. If, thanks to you, the Tory far right win and we get “out”, remember what I’d told you here when you experience what that WILL bring.

    Goodbye.

  • Mathew,
    So if it happen anyway why do you believe staying is a stopping it happening? Which is exactly my point. My argument is that the economic right is in fact mostly in favour of the EU and demonstrably so. The fact that a lot of the out campaigners are of the Tory right doesn’t mean that the EU is in any shape or form economically of the Left. If I vote out and at the moment it’s still if, it will be because I think the EU is plainly neo-liberal and corrupt anyway.
    The other problem I have with your line of reasoning is that is full of bogeymen and cheap insults. Blah, blah, blah, Donald Trump. Blah, blah .blah’ blah. To which I would say if Donald Trump doesn’t take the republican leadership Ted Cruz will and he’s even worse.
    And dude. I don’t like being called stupid.
    Goodbye.

  • Matthew Huntbach 28th Mar '16 - 2:21pm

    Look Glenn, I am coming back because I am literally

    TERRIFIED

    at the prospects of Britain out of the EU. I am sorry if the way I put it to you is not working to persuade you why. We are the most right-wing country in economic terms in the EU at the moment. Other countries in the EU don’t have the sort of extreme-right economic government we have, so to me it is daft when you suggest it is the EU pushing us that way. To me, the co-operation we have with other EU countries and the constraints that places on our government are the one thing protecting us from where the extreme extreme right want to push us. I have read what they say in their own circles, and what I say is based on that. They want to pull us out of the EU so they can have complete control.

    We already have a de facto one-party state. I warned this would happen if people like you destroyed the Liberal Democrats with your “nah nah nah nah nah” attitude, and it has happened just as I said it would. We have seen now what the Tories do without the constraints, very weak though they were, the Liberal Democrats put in them in the coalition.

    If we had Brexit, where do you think the sort of left-wing government you want is going to come from? I see no sign of it, as we have seen the Corbynites would rather strike a righteous pose and remain a never-winning opposition than do what it takes to defeat the Tories. You seem to take that line as well.

    What we are seeing in the right-wing press is an argument between the moderate-ish (still very right-wing in historic terms) Tories of Cameron’s sort, and the head-banging extreme economic right. If the “Out” side wins, it will be seen as a victory for the head-bangers, and it will be. Of course it is in their interest not to put it that way, but I tell you the cynical way they are selling it as more control for the British people when all they stand for is the exact opposite of that leaves me shaking with anger.

  • Right Mattew,
    I still vote liberal democrat, so the nah nah nah stuff doesn’t wash and I resent this “people like you” stuff as well.
    I don’t won’t to go over an endless old argument so I am not going to get drawn into a rerun of 2010, suffice to say if the Lib Dem leadership had followed the advice of people like me the party would not now be down to 8 seats and 8 per cent in the polls. I said this would happen from the very start.

    Now as I said, I haven’t decided yet and probably edge towards caution because I believe Brexit would cause a sever economic shock. But I would say that EU has very little interest in or much to do with stopping the Tory Right except on the issue of Europe. In truth it’s not a great organisation and not really terribly effective at blocking any nastiness here or anywhere else. Even if there is an in vote the current tory leadership is done for anyway. It’s at odds with around 70% of its party membership. Plus it may even benefit the Right by creating a large resentful block vote. My view is that to turn Brexit into a simple Left v Right argument is to be too identified with one side of the debate. This is what handed Scotland to the SNP. So I think you actively need liberal and left wing dissent to show that it is not a monopolised argument between right wingers and lefties on one side or the other. Plus, as I said I genuinely don’t like the EU that much.

  • Katerina Porter 28th Mar '16 - 4:26pm

    The Out campaign is using an independent rather emotional “Sovereign Britain” argument, but over the last Tory/New Labour 30 years we have focused on the City way beyond industry or agriculture, and our industry has many foreign owners and is down to 14% of GDP. Three of our six big energy companies are foreign owned and more of our rail by foreign mainly state ones, so profits go abroad. The lobbying power of the major internationals is huge, able, as it recently did, to undermine our young renewable energy industries, and undermine making our homes more energy efficient. Inside the EU we were able to push for the creation of the single market. We would not be able to do anything like that again. Many social rights we now have are due to EU regulation.The EU Investment bank has contributed 6 £billion to upgrading London transport over the last decade as well as contributing to very many other UK projects. It was also able to help a peaceful transfer from communism to democracy in Eastern Europe. As has been pointed out our media is largely owned by foreigners and non- residents. Whether we or the French are the fifth or sixth economy depends largely on the relative rates of sterling and euro. I don’t think we would be a very independent state when we left!
    I remember the referendum of 1975 -I was stuffing envelopes. Yes the argument had a strong economic element but so did the political. At that time the oil crisis had not hit our or the EU economies but the EU economy was doing much better than ours.
    I agree with everything that Matthew says, and I too am terrified.

  • Katherine.
    Who are these foreign nationalised industries that own great chunks of are energy and water supply as well as I our rail! When will France and Germany step forward to stop this!

  • Katerina Porter 28th Mar '16 - 5:35pm

    I googled so you could check if I got it right The profits leave Britain, & R&D probably went abroad too

    Here is rail: Abellio (East Anglia) Dutch state rail. London Overground German state joint with private MTR. Merseyrail Abellio Dutch state joint Serco . Arriva German state.
    Southern rail French state and joint private. Southeastern French state. Another Arriva German state. Northern Dutch state joint Serco. First Transpennine French state majority owner. Earlier I made a mistake and didn’t count enough foreign for rail

    Energy Big Five: EDF French state. E.ON German. npower German. Scottish Power Spainish. British Gas
    And there must be another one, the sixth?

  • Katherine,
    I’m sorry, I was being a bit naughty. I knew the countries involved. My point was that virtually all these foreign state owned companies are in EU so it is not as if being part of the EU stopped it. I also never tire of the absurd contradiction of the British economic Right’s belief that our utilities can be owned by any nationalised industry in the world except a British one coz that would be statist and stuff and they’re like ooh, statism is really bad, but only “statism” that benefits the British public, obviously.

  • Matthew Huntbach 28th Mar '16 - 9:01pm

    Glenn

    My point was that virtually all these foreign state owned companies are in EU so it is not as if being part of the EU stopped it.

    What’s the point of that point? No-one is suggesting that membership if the EU would have stopped it.

    However, exit from the EU is being sold to the gullible as if it means a return of control of everything to the British people. We can see from this that it does not: if we exited from the EU, these services and utilities would still be controlled by the governments of other countries.

    The very people who are running the “Out” campaign are those who were keenest on getting rid of British people’s control of our country by privatising everything. Exit from the EU will not return Britain to how it was in the 1960s because privatisation and globalisation have ended all that. Yet most people I hear saying they want to vote “Out” seem to think that it will somehow return us to the days before Thatcherism.

    I assure you, Glenn if you vote “Out” you will be supporting these ultra-Thatcherites, because if you read what they say to themselves in their own communications, such as the Spectator magazine, that is what it is REALLY all about. They don’t like the EU because it is the one thing that stops them pushing their ultra-Thatcherism to its limits. What they want is for Britain to become a sort of haven for the world’s shadier financial elite, free of any sort of controls. They want Britain to be run by themselves, paid for by these shady type to run it in their interest. NOT on ours. They despise democracy and ordinary British people, but they cynically play to them to get their votes for “Out” by pretending it is about the opposite of what they really want it for.

  • Matthew,
    I’ve read what they say. The thing is Britain already is a haven for some of the worlds shadier financial elites. My honest view of a lot of the “out” right wing is that they’re living in a fantasy land and will still have to face the electorate whether they win or lose.
    The point of that point was that Catherine was trying to make something of foreign governments owning British assets and major international monetary lobbying for this that or the other as if the EU stood apart from any of these shenanigans. I was simply pointing out the EU is not actually separate from it at all.

    To be honest I suspect if we leave the EU the immediate economic fall out will be so large the more rabid outers will be too busy being pilloried to gain that much political traction from it, where as if we stay in they will easily take over the Conservative party. The thing about chaos is you can’t control the outcome.

  • PS,
    The other thing is the Left only really cleaved unto the EU in the late1980s in the belief that would help combat Thatcherism. However since then and under both “centrist” Labour and sadly under the coalition the shifts to the economic Right have increased rather than decreased. So I am entirely unconvinced that that the EU protects Britain from the Economic Right especially as it itself shifting to the economic right. Until the 2008 banking collapse I was solidly pro EU but I look at how the crisis was dealt with and the pro EU arguments set out by Tony Blair, David Cameron, George Osborne etc. and am wholly unconvinced they give two hoots about people who do not lobby them from the financial sector. So why should I believe this collection of military interventionist, surveillance happy bedroom taxing unpleasant people are a bulwark against anything. For me the in/out campaign is between a rock and a hard place.

  • Oh dear’
    John Marriot
    I never said any such thing. My argument is that people who see the EU as benevolent or a block against economic right or even the far right are to an extent in denial. It’s nothing to with being a little Englander and I’m certainly not of the Right. I simply am no longer that sold on the EU.
    Unlike you, I haven’t fallen back insinuation and being condescending when I don’t agree with someone.
    So oh dear indeed.

  • @Conor McGovern “Will it (Brexit) bolster the sick-inducing Farage types?” Oh yes. And then some.

  • @Matthew Huntbach agree with everything you’ve said here.

  • Conor McGovern 29th Mar '16 - 8:58pm

    JUF, to be fair I find Dave and Osborne just as sick-inducing.

  • What’s that old saying about never assume. All I’m stating is my like of conviction in the EU and the reason why some of the pro arguments do not wash with me. In end I do not have any enthusiasm for the EU, I do not feel I live in a glorious pan national network. Actually, you know what I am a small Islander. I don’t feel this makes me better or Britain better than anywhere else, but I don’t think it makes me or it inferior either. I am a personally liberal Left leaning person who doesn’t really think nationalism is innately bad and internationalism innately good. In fact from what, I’ve seen recently internationalism just means waging wars on bits of Northern Africa for no good reason and taxing people to pay for that other internationalist monstrosity. the financial sector. So yeah, little Islander and perfectly comfortable with it.

  • I had intended to remain neutral on the EU Referendum debate and not become involved, however, I was reminded of the dire consequences of remaining a member after reading the article below in the Independent on TTIP – which is clearly a global corporation sponsored agreement. I don’t know if anyone recalls Cameron saying that the most important issue for him during his current premiership was seeing TTIP ratified – this is a very clear indication that he, like Osborne, is working primarily in the interests of the largest [mostly US] global corporations [as did Blair – Cameron’s political hero]!

    EU referendum: UK could be better off leaving if TTIP passes, Joseph Stiglitz says
    Stiglitz described the danger TTIP poses to society as “very significant”
    [Example: Details of the cases are often secret, but notorious precedents include the tobacco giant Philip Morris suing Australia and Uruguay for putting health warnings on cigarette packets]

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/eu-referendum-joseph-stiglitz-ttip-labour-transatlantic-trade-investment-partnership-a6907806.html

    Unfortunately – from what little I know of EU law – we could not escape if we are still in the EU when TTIP is ratified.

  • Katerina Porter 30th Mar '16 - 9:24am

    Under Stop TTPI in Google there is a summary on ratification of the treaty which would be constitutionally necessary by national parliaments in all EU states except for Malta and UK . In some countries, including UK, a referendum would be possible.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Apr '16 - 11:39am

    Nigel Farage said that the UK Government’s leaflet is “full of lies”. How did he know? Did he get an advance copy? Or is he merely asking his supporters to ignore it?
    It has arrived chez nous on 11 April 2016. It says “The EU referendum is a big decision for you and your family’s future”. It says “Vote on Thursday, 23rd June 2016”. It states clearly and repeatedly that it is a document from HM Government.
    “Since 2004, using the European Arrest Warrant, over 1,000 suspects have faced justice in UK courts and over 7,000 have been extradited.” Is that a lie Mr Farage?
    “Canada’s deal with the EU will give limited access for services. it has so far been seven years in the making and is still not in force.” Is that a lie Mr Farage?

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