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What would an EU referendum campaign be like? watch

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    After seeing the very energised Scottish referendum campaign I think there are a few parallels and also some questions about how an In/Out campaign on EU membership might go.

    A big theme for me is that when so many people that wouldn't usually participate in politics get involved, the 'undecideds' have a much bigger sway than those that shout with entrenched positions that shout the loudest.

    The 'change' campaign has the inherent advantage that it sounds more positive and exciting to be looking to break the status quo rather than campaigning to 'keep things as they are', especially when there are a lot of things people are disaffected with. This was a powerful argument for the Yes campaign: unhappy with the quality of your schools, healthcare? outraged at poverty in your area? unable to get a job? Blame Westminster politics, and look for a new exciting future with independence.

    However the flipside of this is that for undecideds, the closer they get to the moment of voting, any doubts in their minds will tilt them towards the status quo. Especially if the status quo campaign wheels out figures with credibility: ie the business community, leaders of major institutions like the Bank of England, major political figures both from domestic and international politics. When people are undecided and don't feel they understand the issues they will defer to who people who seem to be informed are recommending, and the sheer weight of them was a big advantage for No.

    A big lesson I think the Eurosceptics can learn from this campaign is that in order to avoid the late drift towards the status quo, they have to have a completely watertight alternative for independence. The Scottish nationalists thought they had one, but in the final weeks of the campaign, they were pressed on things like the currency situation, and when they were stuck with things like "well this will have to be negotiated after the event" their credibility suffered as it just rang of uncertainty.

    The Eurosceptic campaign will have to clearly state out a vision for the way the UK will participate in the world, and with Europe, outside the EU. So things like what access to the single market will look like, what domestic regulations would be brought in to replace the EU regulations that are removed (for example, they will claim huge savings by scrapping the Common Agricultural Policy, but wealthy farmers that are very Conservative in nature, will stand to lose huge amounts of EU subsidy, so they will want something similar from the UK taxpayer). At the moment Eurosceptics have tried to paint a vision that the UK will be able to negotiate full tariff free trade and access to the single market whilst not being subject to EU regulations or contributing to the EU budget, well this is as deluded as the Scots that thought after independence they could negotiate what they wanted from the UK. The EU would be the bigger partner, like the UK would be with Scotland, so any negotiation would leave the smaller partner having to accept less than it would want.

    Cameron will probably recommend an In vote, claiming that he has renegotiated terms of membership that are beneficial for the UK, so the In side will have the three main parties, plus the business community, the City, plus international community and probably most of the economics community.

    The Out side will have UKIP and most of the UK tabloid press. Whilst polls do show quite a bit of latent Euroscepticism in the country, that is quite a daunting opposition. The No in Scotland showed the power of having the establishment onside even when perpetuating a fairly unpopular message.

    A final thing that I think the Eurosceptics need to be careful of is the tone of their campaign. The Yes campaign in Scotland got very close to winning, through energising particularly the young, with a positive message based on hope, community, social justice and things that make people feel good about themselves. There's a danger that the Out campaign in a EU referendum would be a campaign based on nastiness and divisiveness, dominated by the issue of immigration. Some people campaigning for Out will be obsessed with immigration: any issue that comes up they will just say its because of immigration. Whilst this sounds good to the already committed Outs, it starts to turn off normal voters that see these as blinkered nasty bigots. Also inevitably the Out campaign is going to be dogged by one story after another of an Out campaigner on Twitter tweeting vulgar things about Muslims/Jews or so on as these type of people are out there and will cling on to that campaign in the way that they are a burden to UKIP.

    I have to say at this point I would predict an In vote in an EU referendum.
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    The Euroskeptics will need to learn from what Salmond did wrong. They need to address concerns that might cause "don't knows" to simply vote to keep the status quo. They need to say exactly how they would leave the EU and thrive outside it. With Salmond it was mostly currency, NATO and EU membership. With Euroskeptics it'll be stuff like how we would maintain any trade deals.
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    It would look like this:

    Anti EU lot: "The EU is bad, it costs £900 Trillion a day for membership"
    Pro EU bunch: "No that's not true, look at these complex accounts - it actually only costs 22p per houshold (*assuming 2 adults, 2 children and a pet dog)"

    Anti EU lot:
    "The EU is awful - it basically means we have to let terrorists do what they want. Listen to this story about how the UK was banned from sending a wannabe suicide bomber to prison.."
    Pro EU bunch: "That never happened - but we can't explain why our press department didn't put out a statement when all the newspapers were saying it did happen..."

    Anti EU lot: "We don't need the EU for jobs. We can leave the EU and big players like Turks and Caicos and Bostwana will trade with us"
    Pro EU lot: "If we leave the EU, we will all be unemployed. We'd be ruined."

    Anti EU lot: "The EU is bad - that Human Rights Court thing means we can't deport anyone we bloody well like to anywhere we bloody well want.
    Pro EU bunch: "We don't think that Court is actually anything to do with the EU... but we'll play along anyway"

    No one will be any more informed. It'll be awful.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    It would look like this:

    Anti EU lot: "The EU is bad, it costs £900 Trillion a day for membership"
    Pro EU bunch: "No that's not true, look at these complex accounts - it actually only costs 22p per houshold (*assuming 2 adults, 2 children and a pet dog)"

    Anti EU lot:
    "The EU is awful - it basically means we have to let terrorists do what they want. Listen to this story about how the UK was banned from sending a wannabe suicide bomber to prison.."
    Pro EU bunch: "That never happened - but we can't explain why our press department didn't put out a statement when all the newspapers were saying it did happen..."

    Anti EU lot: "We don't need the EU for jobs. We can leave the EU and big players like Turks and Caicos and Bostwana will trade with us"
    Pro EU lot: "If we leave the EU, we will all be unemployed. We'd be ruined."

    Anti EU lot: "The EU is bad - that Human Rights Court thing means we can't deport anyone we bloody well like to anywhere we bloody well want.
    Pro EU bunch: "We don't think that Court is actually anything to do with the EU... but we'll play along anyway"

    No one will be any more informed. It'll be awful.
    Obvious EU bias here.

    The EU does cost a lot today even if it is only a certain amount per household (thanks Blair for giving away our rebate in good faith), that money could still be used towards domestic growth instead of spent on Czech unemployment.

    EU has an open border policy and has made multiple rulings in favour of the rights of terrorists which pose no threat to their institutions, thank God we have people in Europe far away from the damage to dictate what we should do.

    For a start concerning needing the EU for jobs we only need to be part of a free trade area, trade is not one way, it's unlikely we would say no things like TTIP as well even if we were not in the Union because it benefits both parties.

    The Human Rights Court is nothing to do with the EU but is a European institution that exercises authority over our judicial system, that's still a problem.

    Also remember the EU is huge and would likely spend an enormous amount of money to keep the Brits in with all sorts of propaganda like they did in Ireland.
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    If voting changed anything, they would abolish it.


    There's no way out of the EU unless it collapses, like the Soviet Union did.
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    Brilliant OP.

    Before i respond to the posts above there seems to be one glaring issue with regards to the Euro-skeptics painting any kind of vision for the future outside the EU come the referendum.. they are not in power! Pretty much every single rebuttal if Cameron calls for an 'In' vote would be 'you can't do that, your not in government'. Unless Cameron accepted that he'd agree with the White Paper in the event of 'Out' or a Euro-skeptic could be guaranteed as the next PM, they would be entirely meaningless assertions.

    (Original post by DErasmus)
    EU has an open border policy and has made multiple rulings in favour of the rights of terrorists which pose no threat to their institutions, thank God we have people in Europe far away from the damage to dictate what we should do.

    The Human Rights Court is nothing to do with the EU but is a European institution that exercises authority over our judicial system, that's still a problem.

    Also remember the EU is huge and would likely spend an enormous amount of money to keep the Brits in with all sorts of propaganda like they did in Ireland.
    These are the points i want to make. Firstly it is the ECHR only which has made those rulings but more importantly they actually throw out 90%+ of cases against the UK, in 2012 for example they ruled against the UK just 8 times and 1 of those was Qwatada.

    Theoretically, yes. There's no chance that the In campaign would agree to budgetary constraints and short of pulling a billionaire out of the hat, there's no chance the Out campaign could get close in funding.

    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    It would look like this:

    Anti EU lot: "The EU is bad, it costs £900 Trillion a day for membership"
    Pro EU bunch: "No that's not true, look at these complex accounts - it actually only costs 22p per houshold (*assuming 2 adults, 2 children and a pet dog)"

    Anti EU lot:
    "The EU is awful - it basically means we have to let terrorists do what they want. Listen to this story about how the UK was banned from sending a wannabe suicide bomber to prison.."
    Pro EU bunch: "That never happened - but we can't explain why our press department didn't put out a statement when all the newspapers were saying it did happen..."

    Anti EU lot: "We don't need the EU for jobs. We can leave the EU and big players like Turks and Caicos and Bostwana will trade with us"
    Pro EU lot: "If we leave the EU, we will all be unemployed. We'd be ruined."

    Anti EU lot: "The EU is bad - that Human Rights Court thing means we can't deport anyone we bloody well like to anywhere we bloody well want.
    Pro EU bunch: "We don't think that Court is actually anything to do with the EU... but we'll play along anyway"

    No one will be any more informed. It'll be awful.
    Having already seen Farage and Clegg going it, i am dismayed at the thought of having to listen to their speal, not a shred of pragmatism or measured analysis between them when it comes to the EU. At least Cameron is somewhat in the middle but it's highly unlikely he'd be leading the campaign.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Brilliant OP.

    Before i respond to the posts above there seems to be one glaring issue with regards to the Euro-skeptics painting any kind of vision for the future outside the EU come the referendum.. they are not in power! Pretty much every single rebuttal if Cameron calls for an 'In' vote would be 'you can't do that, your not in government'. Unless Cameron accepted that he'd agree with the White Paper in the event of 'Out' or a Euro-skeptic could be guaranteed as the next PM, they would be entirely meaningless assertions.



    These are the points i want to make. Firstly it is the ECHR only which has made those rulings but more importantly they actually throw out 90%+ of cases against the UK, in 2012 for example they ruled against the UK just 8 times and 1 of those was Qwatada.

    Theoretically, yes. There's no chance that the In campaign would agree to budgetary constraints and short of pulling a billionaire out of the hat, there's no chance the Out campaign could get close in funding.



    Having already seen Farage and Clegg going it, i am dismayed at the thought of having to listen to their speal, not a shred of pragmatism or measured analysis between them when it comes to the EU. At least Cameron is somewhat in the middle but it's highly unlikely he'd be leading the campaign.
    8 to many.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)


    Having already seen Farage and Clegg going it, i am dismayed at the thought of having to listen to their speal, not a shred of pragmatism or measured analysis between them when it comes to the EU. At least Cameron is somewhat in the middle but it's highly unlikely he'd be leading the campaign.
    Ultimately what did for Salmond was not the absence of a Plan B for the currency but the need for a Plan B. Ultimately Salmond's position on the currency (as on many other things) was:

    "Scotland would get its own way because of [a whole load of logical reasons]".

    Then the people who had to agree to this simply said:

    "no"

    and they were more believable than Salmond.

    Farage is at present in the same position as Salmond. He is denying that any of the benefits that originally came from EU membership will be lost and he puts forward a series of logical reasons why that is the case. So Brits will still have free travel, the UK will still have access to the single market, foreign companies with manufacturing plant in the UK will stay, UK companies won't move their operations into the EU etc.

    When people with decision-making power over this, start saying "no, they won't", Farage will be in the same credibility war as was Salmond. Do you believe Farage or Mr Honda when Mr Honda says he will move abroad? Do you believe Mr Honda is telling the truth, or do you believe Farage's logical reasons why he ought to be lying?

    In one sense Farage is in a worse position than Salmond. Many of Farage's supporters and fellow travellers are not in the economy at all. They are poor, retired people who do not travel at all and who regret changes from the Britain of their youth and somehow believe that leaving the EU will turn back the clock. The problem for anti-EU faction is that they ultimately don't care about the economy. If someone says Honda will leave, their response will be "let them. We don't need them. We can make British cars". That will give the impression to undecideds that anti-EU people are ultimately reckless of British jobs. Leaving the EU is more important to them than the any damage that will be caused. That will not play well.
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    (Original post by DErasmus)
    8 to many.
    Reminds me of this.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    After seeing the very energised Scottish referendum campaign I think there are a few parallels and also some questions about how an In/Out campaign on EU membership might go...
    I don't think that the pro-independence campaign will change that much. I expect that Nigel Farage will just regurgitate the same one size fits all arguments that UKIP have been using for years.

    PRSOM
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)

    Farage is at present in the same position as Salmond. He is denying that any of the benefits that originally came from EU membership will be lost and he puts forward a series of logical reasons why that is the case. So Brits will still have free travel, the UK will still have access to the single market, foreign companies with manufacturing plant in the UK will stay, UK companies won't move their operations into the EU etc.

    When people with decision-making power over this, start saying "no, they won't", Farage will be in the same credibility war as was Salmond. Do you believe Farage or Mr Honda when Mr Honda says he will move abroad? Do you believe Mr Honda is telling the truth, or do you believe Farage's logical reasons why he ought to be lying?

    In one sense Farage is in a worse position than Salmond. Many of Farage's supporters and fellow travellers are not in the economy at all. They are poor, retired people who do not travel at all and who regret changes from the Britain of their youth and somehow believe that leaving the EU will turn back the clock. The problem for anti-EU faction is that they ultimately don't care about the economy. If someone says Honda will leave, their response will be "let them. We don't need them. We can make British cars". That will give the impression to undecideds that anti-EU people are ultimately reckless of British jobs. Leaving the EU is more important to them than the any damage that will be caused. That will not play well.
    The Eurosceptics will be able to deal with the three main parties being against them (and one of the three parties will be split down the middle anyway) because they will use the same position UKIP used in the European elections: "we are standing up against the Westminster elite".

    As trust in politicians is relatively low anyway, they will be able to say, the Westminster politicians are all trying to line their own pockets through the EU and this is our chance to say enough is enough.

    The difficulty in terms of the credibility war will be when groups other than the main parties start to advocate an In vote.

    The City will say we need to stay in, the Eurosceptics will have to say look the City are just rich bankers out for themselves, the real people want to be out.

    Large multinational companies will say we need to stay in, the Eurosceptics will say well who cares about big business, they've had it their own way for too long.

    Then you will start getting smaller businesses saying we need to stay in, because we need access to the single market because we need to export to the EUs consumers on the same terms as firms in other EU countries. The Eurosceptics are going to have to start saying they are part of this big EU conspiracy as well, and that the public shouldn't listen to them.

    In time they will be fighting against people or groups that have more credibility and the Eurosceptics will have to look very switched on, like they are a forward thinking intelligent movement that has got a realistic vision of a Britain outside of Europe that excites the business community and gets wealth creators to say vote Out and lets create this Britain. That's the way they will get credibility. If they are reduced to a tabloid-style bunch of moral ranters about preserving Britishness by keeping out immigration and so on then they will only get the support of a limited part of the electorate.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    The Eurosceptics will be able to deal with the three main parties being against them (and one of the three parties will be split down the middle anyway) because they will use the same position UKIP used in the European elections: "we are standing up against the Westminster elite".

    As trust in politicians is relatively low anyway, they will be able to say, the Westminster politicians are all trying to line their own pockets through the EU and this is our chance to say enough is enough.

    The difficulty in terms of the credibility war will be when groups other than the main parties start to advocate an In vote.

    The City will say we need to stay in, the Eurosceptics will have to say look the City are just rich bankers out for themselves, the real people want to be out.

    Large multinational companies will say we need to stay in, the Eurosceptics will say well who cares about big business, they've had it their own way for too long.

    Then you will start getting smaller businesses saying we need to stay in, because we need access to the single market because we need to export to the EUs consumers on the same terms as firms in other EU countries. The Eurosceptics are going to have to start saying they are part of this big EU conspiracy as well, and that the public shouldn't listen to them.

    In time they will be fighting against people or groups that have more credibility and the Eurosceptics will have to look very switched on, like they are a forward thinking intelligent movement that has got a realistic vision of a Britain outside of Europe that excites the business community and gets wealth creators to say vote Out and lets create this Britain. That's the way they will get credibility. If they are reduced to a tabloid-style bunch of moral ranters about preserving Britishness by keeping out immigration and so on then they will only get the support of a limited part of the electorate.
    I entirely agree. If you substitute "Sassenachs" for "Westminster elite" this is how the story played out for Salmond as well.

    Amongst the people with credibility, will be people who are not merely predicting the effect of a Britexit, but people able to bring about what will happen in the event of a Britexit.

    If Merkel and Hollande say, for example, that Britain will not be allowed to join the EEA or that, if Britain leaves the EU is unlikely to wish to discuss individual free trade agreements a la Switzerland for five years, then Farage will be in the position of saying they are bluffing as Salmond was over Sterling.

    Likewise a lot of Farage supporters seem to think that some (white) Commonwealth alliance can be formed. The Canadian, Australian and NZ governments will make it clear that this is a total non-starter.

    One of Farage's key failings was a failure to accept that some things were going to worse in pursuit of a higher goal. That is normally a "given" of independence struggles. Probably because of the weak ideological demand for independence, he couldn't afford to risk any support by admitting that anyone would suffer any ill effects from independence, and that ultimately contributed to his loss because of the credibility problem as those adverse effects were demonstrated to be real.

    The anti-EU lobby need to tread a narrow path here, but are in greater danger of lurching one way or the other. The UKIP hierarchy are with Salmond; "nothing will change", but many (perhaps most) of their supporters are in the "I don't care about foreign muck, Butlins, bitter and meat and two veg are good enough for anyone" camp. To win the anti-EU group have to admit short term damage from Britexit and attempt to convince the public that the longer term gains outweigh these.
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    Can anyone please explain to me one advantage of being a member of a political union, not an economic one? Please try your hardest to list just one and not vague stupidities like 'kept peace in Europe' (no love that's because of the giant nuclear weapons and postwar consensus). It's funny how the left (and even the right) adamantly defend an institution but can never seem to point out one actual advantage of being a member of it (like I said I agree with being part of the EEC & TTIP)
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    After seeing the very energised Scottish referendum campaign I think there are a few parallels and also some questions about how an In/Out campaign on EU membership might go.

    A big theme for me is that when so many people that wouldn't usually participate in politics get involved, the 'undecideds' have a much bigger sway than those that shout with entrenched positions that shout the loudest.

    The 'change' campaign has the inherent advantage that it sounds more positive and exciting to be looking to break the status quo rather than campaigning to 'keep things as they are', especially when there are a lot of things people are disaffected with. This was a powerful argument for the Yes campaign: unhappy with the quality of your schools, healthcare? outraged at poverty in your area? unable to get a job? Blame Westminster politics, and look for a new exciting future with independence.

    However the flipside of this is that for undecideds, the closer they get to the moment of voting, any doubts in their minds will tilt them towards the status quo. Especially if the status quo campaign wheels out figures with credibility: ie the business community, leaders of major institutions like the Bank of England, major political figures both from domestic and international politics. When people are undecided and don't feel they understand the issues they will defer to who people who seem to be informed are recommending, and the sheer weight of them was a big advantage for No.

    A big lesson I think the Eurosceptics can learn from this campaign is that in order to avoid the late drift towards the status quo, they have to have a completely watertight alternative for independence. The Scottish nationalists thought they had one, but in the final weeks of the campaign, they were pressed on things like the currency situation, and when they were stuck with things like "well this will have to be negotiated after the event" their credibility suffered as it just rang of uncertainty.

    The Eurosceptic campaign will have to clearly state out a vision for the way the UK will participate in the world, and with Europe, outside the EU. So things like what access to the single market will look like, what domestic regulations would be brought in to replace the EU regulations that are removed (for example, they will claim huge savings by scrapping the Common Agricultural Policy, but wealthy farmers that are very Conservative in nature, will stand to lose huge amounts of EU subsidy, so they will want something similar from the UK taxpayer). At the moment Eurosceptics have tried to paint a vision that the UK will be able to negotiate full tariff free trade and access to the single market whilst not being subject to EU regulations or contributing to the EU budget, well this is as deluded as the Scots that thought after independence they could negotiate what they wanted from the UK. The EU would be the bigger partner, like the UK would be with Scotland, so any negotiation would leave the smaller partner having to accept less than it would want.

    Cameron will probably recommend an In vote, claiming that he has renegotiated terms of membership that are beneficial for the UK, so the In side will have the three main parties, plus the business community, the City, plus international community and probably most of the economics community.

    The Out side will have UKIP and most of the UK tabloid press. Whilst polls do show quite a bit of latent Euroscepticism in the country, that is quite a daunting opposition. The No in Scotland showed the power of having the establishment onside even when perpetuating a fairly unpopular message.

    A final thing that I think the Eurosceptics need to be careful of is the tone of their campaign. The Yes campaign in Scotland got very close to winning, through energising particularly the young, with a positive message based on hope, community, social justice and things that make people feel good about themselves. There's a danger that the Out campaign in a EU referendum would be a campaign based on nastiness and divisiveness, dominated by the issue of immigration. Some people campaigning for Out will be obsessed with immigration: any issue that comes up they will just say its because of immigration. Whilst this sounds good to the already committed Outs, it starts to turn off normal voters that see these as blinkered nasty bigots. Also inevitably the Out campaign is going to be dogged by one story after another of an Out campaigner on Twitter tweeting vulgar things about Muslims/Jews or so on as these type of people are out there and will cling on to that campaign in the way that they are a burden to UKIP.

    I have to say at this point I would predict an In vote in an EU referendum.
    basiclly what has already been said. The outer will need to have an answer for every possible question. All will take is a single doubt and people will preffer the devil they know rather than the devil they dont.
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    Must say, I consider myself undecided on this issue and the uncertainty of it all is what pushes me towards a no vote, though I am trying to research things as much as possible.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Ultimately what did for Salmond was not the absence of a Plan B for the currency but the need for a Plan B.
    I think Salmond's biggest problem was that he was trying to sell something the Scottish populace simply did not wish to buy. His party achieved the narrowest of majorities on the back of a very low turnout. He had a mandate for the referendum, but it didn't have popular support, and hence was unlikely to ever return a yes vote.

    Most voters had their minds made up before the referendum. Most of the arguments were sideshows.

    And the same will likely happen with an EU referendum. Except that UKIP are unlikely to get a majority in the next election; in fact they'll be lucky if they even get an MP. If Cameron is still PM, he might authorise such a referendum so that, when it is defeated, he will have shut up the Eurosceptics for a long time, just like the separatists here have been.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I think Salmond's biggest problem was that he was trying to sell something the Scottish populace simply did not wish to buy. His party achieved the narrowest of majorities on the back of a very low turnout. He had a mandate for the referendum, but it didn't have popular support, and hence was unlikely to ever return a yes vote.

    Most voters had their minds made up before the referendum. Most of the arguments were sideshows.

    And the same will likely happen with an EU referendum. Except that UKIP are unlikely to get a majority in the next election; in fact they'll be lucky if they even get an MP. If Cameron is still PM, he might authorise such a referendum so that, when it is defeated, he will have shut up the Eurosceptics for a long time, just like the separatists here have been.
    You should keep up with recent developments: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...n-9707816.html

    If Carswell stays in UKIP it's very likely they'll have at least one MP.
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    (Original post by DErasmus)
    You should keep up with recent developments: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...n-9707816.html

    If Carswell stays in UKIP it's very likely they'll have at least one MP.
    They'll certainly win the by-election (though probably closer to 40% since that polling was done before the Tories had a candidate) but its difficult to say whether the seat would be held in May.

    (Original post by DErasmus)
    Can anyone please explain to me one advantage of being a member of a political union, not an economic one? Please try your hardest to list just one and not vague stupidities like 'kept peace in Europe' (no love that's because of the giant nuclear weapons and postwar consensus). It's funny how the left (and even the right) adamantly defend an institution but can never seem to point out one actual advantage of being a member of it (like I said I agree with being part of the EEC & TTIP)
    Define the distinction between political and economic union for me. I do for example think the pan European energy and transport grids proposed are a brilliant idea. Some people support their climate related stuff. Some people probably support a single European military and foreign policy All if these depending on your stance could be construed as advantages.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    They'll certainly win the by-election (though probably closer to 40% since that polling was done before the Tories had a candidate) but its difficult to say whether the seat would be held in May.



    Define the distinction between political and economic union for me. I do for example think the pan European energy and transport grids proposed are a brilliant idea. Some people support their climate related stuff. Some people probably support a single European military and foreign policy All if these depending on your stance could be construed as advantages.
    Energy, transport and climate stuff is perfectly sound (providing that other nations comply with it otherwise our markets are damaged at the expense of greedy nations like China and America). I don't support a single European military or foreign policy, I don't support my taxes being used on poorer countries when there is little evidence they are improving when our own countries have difficulties. Really it's a question of eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy the EU should have as little influence as neccessary on State affairs, and I think it jumps the gun to much at the moment.
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    I suspect an EU referendum campaign would be much like the Scottish: arguments over minor short term economic consequences that are irrelevant to the broader question of whether you want your great grandchildren to be Scottish or British, British or European will dominate the public debate.

    I would say though that there is one key difference. The Scottish secession attempt was in large degree really about Scotland being more left wing than the rest of Britain. The British secession attempt will in large degree really be about Britain being, if not more right wing, at least more in favour of free trade and free markets than the Continent. This alters the character of the EU campaign. While not put in so many words, the SNP's emotional case was that if Scotland becomes independent, Margaret Thatcher will be erased from history. Since advocating a return to pre-Thatcher policies would have been a certain loser, they were not able to explain how this would work in practice. The UKIP case is somewhat stronger in that there really are countries out there that are not in customs unions and which at least arguably have important advantages over countries that are in the EU. They can make a case that is more practical than emotional.
 
 
 
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The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

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