Wednesday, 15 May 2013

I promise a referendum - Sometime - perhaps!!!

The argument about Europe has been going on for more than half a century.

In 1963. Ted Heath took us into Europe, and the British people got the chance to decide for themselves with a referendum in 1975. At that time Europe was being touted as a free trade zone, set up to facilitate trade without all the red tape of crossing borders.

Europe has changed immeasurably, evolving from a free-trade Cold War alliance into a vast semi-federal super-state, with powers that affect our daily lives. Governments are powerless to act without the approval of Europe.
Five months ago, Cameron promised a referendum on British withdrawal from the European Union — but not now. 
The referendum, he insisted, must take place in 2017, two years after the next election, giving him time to negotiate a new settlement with the EU.

The vast majority of the UK population are calling for a referendum, and it is strongly felt that a vote held now would reject Europe. This is not just confined to the UK, throughout Europe the people are calling for the end of the EU and it is only the politicians that insist on its continuance.

 In a survey conducted among more than 7,600 people in eight European countries by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre, the proportion of Europeans with a favourable view of the EU has plunged from 60 per cent last year to 45 per cent.

If Europe is so important that we need a referendum, it is bizarre to postpone the moment of choice for four years, and is seen as a purely tactical move to frustrate Nigel Farage’s UKIP,  and to to appease his backbench critics.

Although he promises a referendum after negotiating a new settlement with the EU, he has never said when these negotiations will commence.
As he himself observed, the more we bang on about Europe, the less time we devote to the other vital issues.

Then shouldn’t he go to Brussels and Berlin at the earliest opportunity, and have a frank conversation about the future of the EU, before coming back to London, to share his findings with the British people. He should stop dithering, grasp the nettle and get on with it.

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