Ed Miliband announces EU referendum policy Watch

Burridge
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Ed Miliband has outlined his policy on an EU referendum; Labour will only call an in/out referendum if it is proposed that further powers are transferred to Brussels.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26538420

Thoughts on this? What implications will this have?

I'm thoroughly disappointed to hear this. The EU is a high-priority for a significant proportion of the electorate; denying them a vote on the issue seems totally bizarre.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Burridge)
Ed Miliband has outlined his policy on an EU referendum; Labour will only call an in/out referendum if it is proposed that further powers are transferred to Brussels.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26538420

Thoughts on this? What implications will this have?

I'm thoroughly disappointed to hear this. The EU is a high-priority for a significant proportion of the electorate; denying them a vote on the issue seems totally bizarre.
It's a continuation of the statute already in law for this parliament so the implications will be as they are now.

Strategically i think that Miliband has made the correct decision. While a large number of people do want a referendum (though they want on most things when polled), it's not generally a sufficiently high priority to affect the way they vote and by sticking with the current middle ground policy he avoids putting any more focus on the EU around the election time when the issue he wants to stick with is the cost of living.
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Burridge
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(Original post by Rakas21)
It's a continuation of the statute already in law for this parliament so the implications will be as they are now.

Strategically i think that Miliband has made the correct decision. While a large number of people do want a referendum (though they want on most things when polled), it's not generally a sufficiently high priority to affect the way they vote and by sticking with the current middle ground policy he avoids putting any more focus on the EU around the election time when the issue he wants to stick with is the cost of living.
An Ashcroft Poll found that the EU was only the top-priority for 6% of voters. I understand that it's not the priority for the vast majority of people, put it is a high-priority (say, in the top 5 of issues) for a decent proportion of the electorate. I think it's certainly possible to offer a referendum without making it the focus of Labour's campaign - they could still use the cost of living crisis as their electoral centre-piece, but by effectively rejecting a referendum I think they're only giving the Tories another thing to capitalise on (which we're already seeing). I think it's quite risky.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Burridge)
An Ashcroft Poll found that the EU was only the top-priority for 6% of voters. I understand that it's not the priority for the vast majority of people, put it is a high-priority (say, in the top 5 of issues) for a decent proportion of the electorate. I think it's certainly possible to offer a referendum without making it the focus of Labour's campaign - they could still use the cost of living crisis as their electoral centre-piece, but by effectively rejecting a referendum I think they're only giving the Tories another thing to capitalise on (which we're already seeing). I think it's quite risky.
In the context of this election there's a lot more EU ground for the Tories to make than Labour in terms of campaign importance. For Labour to win they have to appease the Lib Dem defectors while at the same time taking back the classic Tory-Labour floaters so the cost of living and highlighting policies like the bedroom tax all play well to these crowds in a way that the EU does not. For the Tories there's more ground to be made because they contain a more nationalistic voter base however Cameron rightly feels that scaring away the Tory-Labour floaters would be a bad idea by generally being uber-conservative.
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Observatory
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(Original post by Burridge)
Ed Miliband has outlined his policy on an EU referendum; Labour will only call an in/out referendum if it is proposed that further powers are transferred to Brussels.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26538420

Thoughts on this? What implications will this have?

I'm thoroughly disappointed to hear this. The EU is a high-priority for a significant proportion of the electorate; denying them a vote on the issue seems totally bizarre.
"Mr Miliband argued that reforms were required in the EU, including:

"completing the single market in energy, services and the digital economy, lengthening the transitional period during which restrictions can be curbed on immigration from new member states and making it easier to deport recent immigrants who have broken the law

"But these reforms could be achieved without a new treaty, he argued."

So the BBC's characterisation of Miliband's position is false. He will not offer a referendum if further powers are transferred to Brussels - in fact he supports transferring more powers to Brussels - he will only offer a referendum if there is a new treaty.

Since the latest treaty has a self-amendment mechanism, this may never happen again, as Miliband correctly points out, despite large transfer of powers in future "reforms".
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(Original post by Rakas21)
It's a continuation of the statute already in law for this parliament so the implications will be as they are now.

Strategically i think that Miliband has made the correct decision. While a large number of people do want a referendum (though they want on most things when polled), it's not generally a sufficiently high priority to affect the way they vote and by sticking with the current middle ground policy he avoids putting any more focus on the EU around the election time when the issue he wants to stick with is the cost of living.
(Original post by Burridge)
An Ashcroft Poll found that the EU was only the top-priority for 6% of voters. I understand that it's not the priority for the vast majority of people, put it is a high-priority (say, in the top 5 of issues) for a decent proportion of the electorate. I think it's certainly possible to offer a referendum without making it the focus of Labour's campaign - they could still use the cost of living crisis as their electoral centre-piece, but by effectively rejecting a referendum I think they're only giving the Tories another thing to capitalise on (which we're already seeing). I think it's quite risky.
The EU in itself is barely understood by most voters. The reason the issue doesn't die is that issues with very high priority (immigration, trade, council tax, etc.) are substantially controlled by the EU. The government is unable to make popular commitments on these issues because their hands are tied by EU common policy.

Labour for instance seem to want to renationalise energy, water, etc. but this is disallowed by EU competition law. Labour doesn't have anything like the scope it thinks it does to offer cost of living policies because these things are decided by the EU. Note the first thing listed in his desire for "reforms": "completing the single market in energy, services and the digital economy". Completing a single market in energy means that the EU will regulate energy, not Ed Miliband.

Alternatively, since the public doesn't understand that Labour cannot make good on their promises, Labour could just trick them and then do nothing once in office. That's basically what the Conservatives have done with their immigration pledge. But that will rebound in 2020.
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