Opinion: Pro-Europeans should not fear an EU Referendum

James Wharton’s EU referendum bill finally passed through the Commons on Friday. Whilst this is seen as a significant victory for the Conservative Party and indeed all Eurosceptics, there is still some way to go before a 2017 EU referendum is enshrined in law. The bill must now get through the Lords, and even Wharton seemed unconvinced that it would pass, at least not without significant amendment. However, the Tory MP for Stockton South warned the Lords, ominously stating “For an unelected House to deny the British people a say on a bill which has been passed by the elected House of Commons I think would put them in a very difficult position”. I am sure any Liberal Democrat will see the irony in such a statement, given that it was his party who killed the golden opportunity to make the House of Lords elected and thus fully accountable to the public. I wonder what position the Lords could possibly be put into, given that they are acting fully within the capacity the Conservative Party refused to change.

Nevertheless, there is an increased likelihood that an EU referendum will be placed into law. Eurosceptics will be delighted. But why shouldn’t pro-Europeans? Why does an EU referendum have to be an opportunity only for Eurosceptics? I believe that those of us, who are sick to the back teeth of all the nonsense talked about the EU by many Tories, Ukip and the right-wing press have a fantastic chance to challenge the EU-myths, lies and distortions and demonstrate why we have been in the European community for over 40 years. When people are faced with the threat of leaving, perhaps some will look closer at the EU’s positive impact on jobs, trade, freedom of movement of persons and security, among many other things. We have yet to see a detailed proposal by anyone wishing to leave the EU what a post-EU Britain would look like. Eurosceptics are unable to answer basic questions such as: Why do you wish to leave the EU to increase trade with other countries such as the USA and China, when those very countries have said we are better off in the EU? What will happen to the 2 million Brits living in EU member states when you deny people the freedom of movement on the continent? Why is it good or even acceptable for Britain to be subject to the rules of the European Free Trade Area without having any say in them? The list could go on. One example we can all hope they follow is that of Alex Salmond, whose vision for an independent Scotland loses credibility by the minute.

The main point is – I don’t believe anyone who is pro-European should fear a referendum on Europe. We have the arguments, facts, logic and the rest of the world on our side.

* Paul Stocker is a PhD History Scholar at Teesside University, online blogger and Vice-Chair of Middlesbrough and East Cleveland Liberal Democrats

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

27 Comments

  • jedibeeftrix 30th Nov '13 - 10:53am

    “Eurosceptics are unable to answer basic questions such as: Why do you wish to leave the EU to increase trade with other countries such as the USA and China, when those very countries have said we are better off in the EU?”

    Paul, I might humbly suggest you are getting unsatisfactory answers because you are asking the wrong questions.

    Ever-closer-union is resulting in a post-sovereign europe, at least for the eurozone right now.
    It is becoming more and more difficult for a non-integrating nation to retain sovereign decision making powers.

    This is not a revelation, it is a clearly understood problem:
    http://jedibeeftrix.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/double-qmv-for-the-ebu-the-single-market-as-separate-from-the-eurozone/

    If we British are not interested in the logical consequence of ever-closer-union, and we risk being marginalised in consequence of our refusal to take part in ever-closer-union, then that leaves us in a pickle.

    There is only one question that matters: is europe interested in creating a post-sovereign EU that still has room for sovereign nation-states?

    You are right, the referendum is an opportunity for the pro side, and I hope that the pro side will win the argument.
    However, that argument will be won in Brussels, and won because we have asked the question above and forced an answer through gritted teeth of “yes”.

    Questions for europe to ponder:

    1. Does europe recognise that it is a legitimate aim for a nation to choose the level of EU integration it desires. i.e. ever-closer-union is not [the] moral choice available to EU members.
    2. Does europe recognise that eurozone integration risks marginalising less integrated EU nations from decision making. i.e. QMV caucusing resulting from an ECB ‘managed’ consensus.
    3. Will europe therefore seek to ensure that the common market is kept as an explicit competence of the EU, and not subject to the whims of the eurozone. i.e. as with financial transaction taxes.
    4. Does europe accept this is not merely necessary to appease an awkward UK, it provides the freedom for all EU nations to choose their own destiny. i.e. small nations not left with no other choice.

    If the above is rejected then I will be voting to leave, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  • Wow…
    I have to say quite politely, you are kidding?

    After all the rhetoric from the government and media about immigrants and we cannot do this and cannot do that because of EU regulations, when the reality was far from the rhetoric and that is where the EU vote will fall flat on its face. Like at the moment the government on about EU free loaders who claim benefits in the UK when the reality is for the first period of time the EU country of the claimant has to pay… rhetoric like this and what are the people to believe…

    I suspect that if we do have a vote, which I must say has been worded very carefully with caveats, like if we renegotiate then a vote…
    If you believe there is a majority for the EU (and I do hope there is a majority for, if there is a vote) don’t be surprised if the people don’t believe you and vote accordingly…
    Party politics has caused this nothing more, and that is a disgraceful way to govern a country, and if there is a vote and it is for out of the EU, the pain our people are suffering now will not compare with what will happen…

    The AV vote should be a big kick up the backside to what happens when you think there is nothing to fear… geez

  • Little Jackie Paper 30th Nov '13 - 12:25pm

    Jedibeeftrix – I certainly agree with you that the author is asking the wrong questions. Those in the article are not the questions that the man on the Teeside street will be asking (rightly or wrongly). In honesty I’m quite agnostic about the EU. The sky will not fall if we leave, nor will it fall if we stay in. But by that token I’m not altogether sure that your questions are any better in that they fall into the classic eurosceptic trap of talking about, ‘destiny,’ as though the EU is the only factor in this picture. Take an obvious example – the UN. Not that long ago everyone seemed quite happy to outsource a decision on war to the UN. I don’t even remember the referendum on that – nor does it look like I can have one on leaving. What about the WTO and in particular mode 4? What about NATO? What you term, ‘integration,’ does not start and end with the EU.

    Similarly I don’t see your point about the single currency. If the argument is that all nation-states should be free to choose their own destiny, then other states should be free to join, and leave, a single currency regardless of what the UK thinks on the matter?

    I would agree that the EU referendum will be a great chance to talk about what the EU really means – for good and for bad. Whenever anyone uses the sentence, ‘you can’t do that/you have to do that because of the EU,’ I never take it at face value – I always look at what the other EU countries do before believing or not what I am told. It has become too easy for domestic politicians to hide behind the EU. But I do worry that an awful lot of people are seeing the EU as the only integration in town, clearly it isn’t and I hope that this issue gets more of a mention because it matters a lot because the vision matters a lot.

    The question that people will ask of the eurosceptics, as the author rightly says, is what is the vision of a post-EU UK? Is it simply more corporatism? Or something else? But I’d hope that no one pretends that European integration is the only factor that will influence that vision.

    My feeling is that we will have a referendum in 2017 sometime, but I really have no idea what the result would be.

  • Tony Greaves 30th Nov '13 - 12:59pm

    There is obviously going to be a referendum on Europe at some time. If it about membership of the EU (and not about the standing of the government of the time or other irrelevant factors which referendums often get caught up in) there is little doubt that the decision will be to stay in Europe the EU. That will have a very serious impact on the Tory Party, possibly an existential one (as people say nowadays).

    However, passing the date of a referendum into law some years in advance is just daft. I personally hope that the Lords will ditch this silly Bill at the earliest chance.

    Tony

  • Gwyn Williams 30th Nov '13 - 1:17pm

    I agree that which side wins the Referendum depends on timing rather than time. We can all think of events in the last 5 years of the financial crisis when it would have been close to impossible to win an In/Out referendum.
    In 2017 there will be a new President in the White House. An unpredictable republican President making unfathomable pronouncements on future trade relationships is yet another reason for not predetermining the date of a referendum so far in the future.

  • jedibeeftrix 30th Nov '13 - 1:29pm

    @ LJP –

    “But by that token I’m not altogether sure that your questions are any better in that they fall into the classic eurosceptic trap of talking about, ‘destiny,’ as though the EU is the only factor in this picture.”

    Half right / half wrong.
    I am interested in the question i pose precisely because it becomes a discussion about what we (europe wide) want and expect from the EU. This discussion will precede a negotiation, where that ‘destiny’ will be hammered out, and having seen the direction of europe we will decide whether we want to be in or out.

    “Similarly I don’t see your point about the single currency. If the argument is that all nation-states should be free to choose their own destiny”

    Let me quote from the linked article:

    “De jure incentives to take common position: This incentive is reinforced by the way the Commission’s ECB/EBA Regulations are currently drafted. For example:

    • The ECB Regulation envisions the ECB acting as a coordinator of eurozone national supervisors, with the view for them to take a common position. The ECB has already dropped hints that it intends to actively discourage dissenting opinions amongst eurozone national supervisors.

    • Through a eurozone caucus, some member states will indirectly boost their influence as their voting weight amongst eurozone countries is proportionally much greater than in the EU-27 (EU-28 with Croatia). This is particularly true of the larger eurozone member states.

    • The safeguards proposed by the European Commission (see Section 5 below) leave the eurozone with the upper hand. Given that the 17 eurozone countries already constitute a simple majority, these countries would only need to seek the support of three ‘outs’ – whereas non-euro countries would need at least four countries.

    De facto incentives to take a common euro position: To avoid banks free-riding on taxpayers in creditor countries, the ECB, Germany and others could well insist on putting into place perfectly harmonised eurozone regulations before moving to financial backstops. This could include single-target capital requirements, rules on leverage or bonuses – and could even spill over to market access issues. In turn, this would heavily shape decisions at the EBA, as the eurozone is unlikely to accept an uneven playing field within EU financial services as a whole.De facto incentives to take a common euro position: To avoid banks free-riding on taxpayers in creditor countries, the ECB, Germany and others could well insist on putting into place perfectly harmonised eurozone regulations before moving to financial backstops. This could include single-target capital requirements, rules on leverage or bonuses – and could even spill over to market access issues. In turn, this would heavily shape decisions at the EBA, as the eurozone is unlikely to accept an uneven playing field within EU financial services as a whole.

    Taken together, the EBA structure will therefore significantly shift the balance of power in favour of the eurozone, at the expense of the UK and other ‘outs’.”

    “The question that people will ask of the eurosceptics, as the author rightly says, is what is the vision of a post-EU UK?”

    I am a eurosceptic – which by way of clarification means that i reject ever-closer-union for Britain – and as I hope I have made clear i would like Britain to remain within the EU, so the question you pose does not seem apt in all circumstances… Rather, my ‘vision’ is an EU focused on the common market, with the political/monetary/fiscal matters dealt with in a separate legal institution known as the eurozone. In short; ever-closer-union is removed and the EU becomes more like the EEA.

    “My feeling is that we will have a referendum in 2017 sometime, but I really have no idea what the result would be.”

    My feeling is that the result will be determined by the question I pose: is europe interested in creating a post-sovereign EU that still has room for sovereign nation-states?

  • Little Jackie Paper 30th Nov '13 - 2:37pm

    jedibeeftrix – ‘ This discussion will precede a negotiation, where that ‘destiny’ will be hammered out, and having seen the direction of europe we will decide whether we want to be in or out.’

    By that you mean the, ‘destiny,’ regarding the EU though. Fine – I agree. But my point was that destiny is not the same thing as the EU. For example, what is the point of making an issue of free movement within the EU (and I am in no doubt that it will be perhaps the defining issue in a referendum) when other international agreements/institutions allow for similar movements? Mode 4 alone potentially is hugely significant. There would be nothing, for example, to prevent other countries with which the post -EU UK wishes to trade imposing requirements. Banking requirements are far from fanciful EU or not. The absence of the EU does not per se mean the absence of terms we don’t like in a global world. We want global, not European – great. But what does that mean?

    I don’t think it is asking too much in a referendum campaign to want someone to spell out how integration beyond the EU will affect the UK.

    I happen to agree more or less with what you say about the EU. I just wish you would put a capital E on Europe. But without some idea of how the UK relates to others like UN/WTO/NATO it’s not a vision. These trade deals certainly seem underscrutinised. Anyway, rugby is on, good luck to you.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 30th Nov '13 - 6:55pm

    I’m actually starting to wonder if we shouldn’t just bite the bullet and do it now, as soon as possible. That way we get to vote on in our out as is, not in or out with whatever hard fought rights Cameron has managed to dump by 2017.

    A win would also shut Alex Salmond and the SNP up – they are hanging the idea of a 2017 referendum potentially having the UK leave the EU as an argument for people to vote for independence. The joke of it is they can’t guarantee Scotland’s continuing EU membership on the same terms as we have. although they like to pretend that they can. But an EU referendum across the UK in March might just shoot two foxes with one stone.

  • The problem is that Little Jack shows exactly why we cannot win this vote. The majority of people do not care about the EU – and those who do are in general against it, not for it.

    One of the biggest fallacies is that the EU wants an ever closer union; actually, German is having very similar debates as we are, lambasting most of Southern Europe for their ‘reckless’ spending and questioning whether they really want a closer ‘union’ with these countries.

    So far from closer union, the debate is actually a very complex one in each country; it is just our media forgets this, preferring to make an us and them culture.

  • jedibeeftrix 30th Nov '13 - 8:48pm

    @ Caron –

    “That way we get to vote on in our out as is, not in or out with whatever hard fought rights Cameron has managed to dump by 2017.”

    We are obviously looking at this from opposite ends of the telescope.

    “A win would also shut Alex Salmond and the SNP up – they are hanging the idea of a 2017 referendum potentially having the UK leave the EU as an argument for people to vote for independence. ”

    As a Unionist, if the only thing holding the marriage together is continued access to the Tescoes club-card i think i’d rather see it sundered.

  • I agree with Liberal Al. Sadly, most people in the UK who care about the EU are negative.

    I fear that an EU referendum will be dogged by a low turn-out (vis PCC elections) if free-standing, or a Litmus-test on the government of the day if combined with other elections. I do not fear the arguments, I do fear voter apathy and the power of the right-wing press to manipulate the terms of the debate.

    The AV referendum shows us the extreme dangers of complacency, poor messaging/campaigning, and the overall conservative/reactionary nature of much of British society. Am I the only one really worried about Scotland sleepwalking into independence due to voter apathy and campaigning complacency?

  • jedibeeftrix 1st Dec '13 - 9:08am

    “Am I the only one really worried about Scotland sleepwalking into independence due to voter apathy and campaigning complacency?”

    A natural conservatism combined with a historic trend to vote no in referendums would tend to suggest it is ours to lose.

    But you also mention campaigning complacency, and this is where it might be lost. So much of this lib-dem messaging on the Union comes across as a dry list of material benefits, when what will decide matters is visceral emotion in recognition of a shared familial sentiment, or lack thereof:

    “are you my family, willing to look to the interests of me and mine, as I would you and yours?”

  • ” what will decide matters is visceral emotion in recognition of a shared familial sentiment, or lack thereof” .

    I totally agree, independence or not is visceral. I still believe Scottish independence would make both countries lesser however. I think a major strategic mistake was made in not having the third option “devo max” on the referendum ballot. This outcome is the default now in any event should the “no” vote win – but there is a very real risk of a “yes” vote.

  • “The main point is – I don’t believe anyone who is pro-European should fear a referendum on Europe. We have the arguments, facts, logic and the rest of the world on our side.”
    Well that’s fine and dandy. At least we know what LibDems want. But the view from the LibDem window, is not enough, and a referendum is a ‘stock take’ of what the UK voter wants. So what do the voters of the UK want?
    Jose Manuel Barroso and his motley crew, have spelt it out in words of one syllable that the ultimate aim is for a Federal Europe controlled by Brussels. I can tell you with 100% certainty, that the UK voting public, do NOT want that. The EU is an out of control, runaway train, and the public know it. And the sooner we get an opportunity to step off that mad train, all the better.

  • @John Innes

    Are you saying that we shouldn’t have a referendum for those reasons? Because in the absence of any suggestions for making it higher-turnout and for winning the argument, It sounds like you are saying “people are stupid and would make the wrong choice, so we shouldn’t give them a chance,” Wouldn’t you rather win the argument?

    As for as I can tell the LibDems official position is “There should be an In/Out referendum as long as it doesn’t actually happen.” Doesn’t that sicken you just a little bit?

    @LiberalAl

    The people of Germany might be becoming more eurosceptic, however the overwhelming majority of the political establishment and bureaucracy of the EU and nation states accepts the idea of ever closer union as near-axiomatic. That is the “them” that the Eurosceptics feel they are against. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to paint that as an “us and them” situation if you are opposed to ever-closer union.

    My personal position is similar to Jedibeeftrix. I think the EU has done a lot of good things, but that it has already gone too far and it isn’t going to stop. Its direction is set by a technocratic clique who have no respect for differing points of view and are happy to ignore and reinterpret treaties (backed by the European courts) in order to further the project.

    I am supremely relaxed about Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants btw. The free movement of people is not the problem.

  • Michael Parsons 1st Dec '13 - 12:26pm

    Of course pro-EU voters have nothing to fear from a referendum because (a) in line with their previous promises we won’t get one and (b) if we produce a “no” vote then in line with established EU practice it will be ignored and/or re-run until we get the “right” result. Who are they fooling but themselves? It will take a “no” vote commons majoriy to move UK out of EU, voters know this and that is why MP’s are running scared = the referendum is a handy distraction only,by means of which they hope to keep their seats.
    Recent Food for Thought:
    Bracknell Forest, Winkfield & Cranbourne: Con 582, UKIP 318, Lab 139, LD 69
    Central Befordshire, Caddington: Con 738, Ind 560, UKIP 334, Lab 209, LD 24
    St Helens, Billinge & Seneley Green: Lab 936, UKIP 442, Con 248, G 94, BNP 73, LD 52
    Wakefield City, Horbury & South Ossett: Lab 1041, UKIP 856, Con 504, LD 212
    Of course “the honourable gent can’t extrapolate” blah blah, but beaten even by BNP, LD looks more like “Last Ditch”,

  • jedibeeftrix 1st Dec '13 - 6:23pm

    This makes interesting reading:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/30/shock-poll-reveals-gulf-britain-eu-france-germany-poland-hostile

    I must say I don’t share Richard Dean’s confidence that the electorate likewise recognise a european identity.

  • Tubby Isaacs 2nd Dec '13 - 12:10am

    “My personal position is similar to Jedibeeftrix. I think the EU has done a lot of good things, but that it has already gone too far and it isn’t going to stop. Its direction is set by a technocratic clique who have no respect for differing points of view and are happy to ignore and reinterpret treaties (backed by the European courts) in order to further the project.”

    If you’re in the Eurozone, then you’ve got a point. But we’re not, so I don’t get your point. The EU is doing what it was supposed to- run the single market. The single market was what Britain’s always said it wanted.

    As has often been pointed out, we’re going to be subject to all this anyway, if we leave, but with no role in setting the rules.

  • jedibeeftrix 2nd Dec '13 - 9:27am

    you may have missed the quoted text on eurozone caucusing and how it has the potential to railroad euro-outs.

  • Matthew Huntbach 2nd Dec '13 - 1:45pm

    jedibeeftrix

    Ever-closer-union is resulting in a post-sovereign europe, at least for the eurozone right now.
    It is becoming more and more difficult for a non-integrating nation to retain sovereign decision making powers

    Er, that’s happening anyway, but it has more to do with the economy becoming dominated by global corporations. How many times is the argument used “No, we can’t do that, if we did, the big corporations would move themselves, their money and their jobs to another country”? Or “No, we can’t do that, the international markets would hammer us for it”?

    If you REALLY want the nation to retain full sovereign decision making powers and not to be knocked about by what is happening in the rest of the world, you would need to instate a sort of one-nation socialism, like North Korea, “juche”, as Kin Il-Sung called it.

    Otherwise, the power of the big corporations is such that if we want to retain some sort of democratic control, we need international co-ordination to do it.

  • Well said Matthew. 🙂

  • Matthew Huntbach 2nd Dec '13 - 2:08pm

    Tristan

    My personal position is similar to Jedibeeftrix. I think the EU has done a lot of good things, but that it has already gone too far and it isn’t going to stop. Its direction is set by a technocratic clique who have no respect for differing points of view and are happy to ignore and reinterpret treaties.

    My personal position is that most people are pretty clueless on the EU, so what they know about it is what they are told about it by a media which is in the ownership of people who are anti-EU, and in some case Australian/USAnian/Canadian. People AREN’T experiencing the EU directly doing things which are impeding on their lives. if they were they would be able to say what those things were. They can’t. Instead, if you ask most people who are anti-EU “Why?”, the y will respond with the usual phrases coming straight from their newspapers, or tall stories about supposedly silly restrictions which in most cases turn out to be laughably far from the truth.

    So when people say they are against the EU, what they actually mean is that they are against this mythical thing that has been dreamt up as a distraction. It’s a standard trick in totalitarian countries, isn’t it? Invent an enemy, and get people to focus on hating that enemy. Blame everything that is wrong or hard in their lives in that enemy.

    I don’t say the organisation of the EU is perfect. But I find it hard to think of anything where it has much of a direct personal impact on my life. If what it were deciding really did have that impact, would we not all be following what happens in the EU Parliament and the EU executive rather than the news from Westminster?

  • Michael Parsons 2nd Dec '13 - 8:02pm

    But Matthew H two ofthe issues that domiate public concern are EU ones, and Parliament is now a sideshow: first the control of capital flows (forbidden by EU rules) so as to make possinle equality and fairness of taxation between the rentier burden (company profits etc where the shortfall is billions that could reieve your personal taxation orimprove welfare provision) and taxes on labour and consumer sending. And second the flow of migration (unchecked under EU rules) which is used as a weapon to drive down l ocal labour’s income and drive up the cost of social services including education and health. Not to mention the huge volume of directives nodded through by Parliament, from forbidding apple champaign to forbiddi9ng political preference for local and national firms – and thus your own area’s prosperity.

  • Michael, were you being intentionally ironic when talking about Matthew’s point?

  • jedibeeftrix 2nd Dec '13 - 9:21pm

    “Er, that’s happening anyway, but it has more to do with the economy becoming dominated by global corporations.”

    As someone who is happy to see Britain return to a lower tax regime, in line with public tolerance of taxation, I find myself intensely relaxed by our new supra-sovereign financial overlords.

    As you your second post, which was not directed at me:

    “People AREN’T experiencing the EU directly doing things which are impeding on their lives. if they were they would be able to say what those things were.”

    Speaking personally this is irrelevant:
    It was not what we were promised.
    It is not wanted.
    I do not recognise it as an improvement.
    Therefore I reject it its ongoing encroachment into the system of governance we do have right now.
    In particular, my objection is intensified by what i recognise to be a tipping point as measures to rescue the euro are implemented.

  • Matthew Huntbach 3rd Dec '13 - 2:38pm

    jedibeeftrix

    As someone who is happy to see Britain return to a lower tax regime, in line with public tolerance of taxation, I find myself intensely relaxed by our new supra-sovereign financial overlords.

    Well, there we are then. So please don’t go about sovereignty and all that. Because what you’ve written here makes clear that you AREN’T concerned with British sovereignty, you DON’T CARE about power over what happens in our country moving from its citizens to some shadowy bunch of people somewhere else. The only thing that concerns you is that it’s the bunch of shadowy people elsewhere that you like as opposed to the bunch of shadowy people elsewhere that you dislike.

  • Michael Parsons 4th Dec '13 - 5:46pm

    @ liberal al
    Only because the truth is ironic: with EU membership safely sidetracked into an (improbable) referendum MP’s can get on safely trying to save their seats. I think it is called “politics”.
    As to sovereignty, in my democratic book the citizens are soveregn, not the “crown in parliament” and definitely not the EU wherever. As such we are not bound by any resolutions of these groups, these oligarchs who claim to be baptised by the water of universal sufrage but definitely refuse to live with their feet in it.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Katharine Pindar
    My good friend David Raw's comments on this, yesterday and today, are apposite as ever. I was pleased that you gave the JRF quote, David, because they are indee...
  • Charley HastedCharley Hasted
    @Elizabeth We aren't tory-lite or labour-lite though. We're Liberals and it's past time we remembered that the way we're going to win seats AND keep them is ...
  • David Raw
    "Naturally eugenics takes things a little further and screens the prospective parents and permits only those with ‘desireable’ tracts to inter-breed". Wh...
  • Tristan Ward
    Meanwhile: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61557064...
  • Barry Lofty
    Sorry " most certainly "!...