Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Now For The Most Important Vote Of All

Yesterday Dan Hannan officially launched his cross party referendum campaign for an in or out vote, something that he hinted at here in August:
If we can have a referendum on whether to have a mayor in Hartlepool, what about one on whether the majority of our laws should be handed down from Brussels?

Today sees the launch of a cross-party initiative for precisely such a ballot. The EU Referendum Campaign brings together businesses, trade unions and members of all parties who want a vote on whether Britain should continue to be a member of the EU. We hope people will visit our website – – and sign our pledge.
Naturally I've signed up, and I urge everyone else to do the same.

Mr Cameron is not going to be happy, he desperately doesn't want Europe to be an issue on his watch. But he doesn't have much choice, it's here, it's coming and there's much much more on its way. Cameron's tactics amount to hiding your credit card statement- unopened - in the hope that it will make the debt go away. It doesn't. The only real argument against a referendum, as Hannan rightly points out, is fear of the result.

Personally I think the vote would be closer than some anticipate. There's clearly a lot disquiet about the EU, and this manifests itself via a mixture of perestroika and the nuclear option. Would enough British people be brave enough to press that red button when given the chance? Given that the entire political establishment, the judiciary, the BBC etc all have vested interests in us staying in, every trick in the book will be used; lies, scaremongering and possibly even voting fraud. There's been plenty of concerns over the Irish second Lisbon vote.

Whatever the outcome, a discussion about our membership is urgently needed. And if the referendum result gives a 'wrong' answer, I'll take a leaf out of the EU's book and keep campaigning for a rerun until I get the answer I want.

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