Tag Archives: eu membership

We cannot be a rejoin party. At most we can be a reapply party.

Like many of our members, I joined the most pro European party soon after the 2016 EU referendum, and am bitterly disappointed at how things have gone since, and am frustrated at the lack of short term prospect of reversing what I am convinced is an historic mistake. I’d be delighted if this party were to pledge to rejoin (for example, as the price of membership of a coalition government), but the sad reality is that this wouldn’t be credible .

The problem is that the EU gets a say too. And unless it sees a stable majority in favour of EU membership, that say will be “no” – it won’t want to risk a Brexit 2.0 a few years down the line.

Even if it doesn’t say “no”, the membership terms are going to be debated. This doesn’t necessarily imply adopting the Euro or joining Schengen, but the budget rebate and other opt outs are at risk.

Posted in Op-eds | 78 Comments

Why giving up on “rejoin” is the last straw

I’m afraid Ed Davey’s reply to Andrew Marr yesterday, agreeing that the Liberal Democrats are no different from the Labour Party in not being “a rejoin party” is a massively missed opportunity and it’s the last straw for me. Leaving the party I have supported, stood for and donated to, since my teenage years in the 1970’s will be very difficult and heart wrenching. Sadly, I am on the cusp of making that decision. If there is one thing we can learn from Brexiteers, it’s that persistent and passionate campaigning, even when things are not going your way, can pay off in the end.

I am not suggesting that we should be asking for another referendum now, but that we should be making it very clear that we will be doing everything possible to create the situation where it is possible for the UK to re-join the EU as soon as is practical, and that we won’t give up until we succeed.

Doing so would give the Liberal Democrats the powerful distinct reason we need to differentiate us and attract support from both Labour and the Conservatives. With a credible Labour leader, we will otherwise just fall back into our familiar position of getting votes from people whose preferred party can’t win. Opinion polls show at least half of the country would still prefer the UK to be in the EU. Boris’s large majority was not a long term mandate for staying out of the EU. They voted for him because they were fed up with Brexit and believed his would end it. At the same time they judged Jeremy Corbyn as unsuitable for the role of Prime Minister.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 104 Comments

Lib Dems adopting re-join would cause Johnson to rejoice

I am passionately pro-European. I wish we were still part of the EU. I want our party to remain the most pro-European in the House of Commons. Most of all, however, I want us to actually win the argument over Europe, because if we see a future for Britain in Europe, we need to create one that ordinary people feel meets their hopes and dreams, not one that tells them how wrong they are for not supporting us.

The phrase “politics is about winning hearts and minds” means the hearts and minds of those with whom we initially disagree. It’s …

Posted in Op-eds | 67 Comments
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