Is David Camerons’ Referendum Idea the Right Approach?

Much has been reported recently about David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, saying he will hold a referendum on EU membership if re-elected in 2015. The question is; is this a good idea, and will the British people make the right decision? Various countries, media outlets and politicians are giving their opinion, but when it comes down to the wire it will be the general public who must decide the future of our country.

The White House

The White House

The Obama administration is already letting their dismay be known and that they are not in favour, saying Britain and the EU will be stronger together, and it has been hinted by some officials that any withdrawal by Britain from the EU could damage relations. The American government see the European Union as a strong military ally in the world, which is not surprising considering the Union’s involvement with America in the world’s trouble-spots. There is fear that the cooperation with America on military intervention, always so stoutly upheld by Britain, will be compromised.

India, and more particular China, have both expressed concern at the thought of Britain leaving the EU because of the massive amount of trade they both do with the Block. The European Union and Chine trade over £840 million per day and they see this as being grossly affected should Britain withdraw.

Abu Hamsa - Protected By The Human Rights Act

Abu Hamsa – Protected By The Human Rights Act

The main gripe the Brits have with Europe is the steady slide of more and more control slipping to Brussels and out of their hands. This is amply demonstrated by the total mess that our Judicial System is in because of interference from the politicians in Brussels. Since the introduction of the Immigration Laws, Human Rights Act and the Health and Safety Laws, which we are bound to follow, we have seen countless criminals getting away with murder because of some clause or other in the Human Rights Act such as Article Eight (the right to family life) which has been exploited by unscrupulous lawyers in Britain. You only have to look at the fact that it took the British Legal System 10 years to get rid of Abu Quatada, and we still haven’t been able to put Abu Hamsa on a plane to face terrorist charges in Jordan.

When it comes to the ‘elf & safety debacle, people have died because rescue services have been forced to follow nonsensical rules when it comes to saving people in distress. As for immigration, laws need to be rewritten so that it is no longer possible for one person to come in and be closely followed by his/her entire family, including uncles aunts, grandparents and grandchildren, all of whom live off the British taxpayer. We need to make sure when a man and his wife and children come in, it stops there! It needs to be made clear to immigrants that if they wish to settle in the UK they must learn the language, and there is a definite time limit to social welfare. In other words, get a job or get out!

Barroso - A Familiar Face

Barroso – A Familiar Face

The main problem with the EU is that with the exception of one or two well-known people like Jose Manuel Barroso, Europe is run by faceless individuals who are not answerable to the people. Does anyone from the general public know who represents our country in Brussels? I doubt that one in a thousand will know. The same problem exists in every European nation, and has led Brussels to be so far removed from the people they may as well be on the moon!

Abraham Lincoln said it better than anyone during his Gettysburg address when he pledged: “The government of the people, for the people, by the people”. It is this line from history that European politicians need to hinder, for to continue in the way they are could lead not only to Britain’s withdrawal, but to the breakup of the whole Union in time.

Open Borders

Open Borders

There are many many good things about the EU and the fact that so many countries can cooperate in the political and military spheres. It is wonderful to be able to travel across borders without all the customs and immigration checks, just as it is great not to have to change currency every time you cross a border. It is ideal that you can go and work in another country without all the hassle we used to have. There is no doubt that the benefits brought to us through EU integration have benefited our lives far more than those we have lost.

However, having said that, the areas outlined above plus a few more need to be relaxed. Judicial and Human Rights jurisdiction needs to be left to the nations and not dictated by Brussels. The national justice system must have a say in who goes to prison and who does not, and who gets extradited and who does not. Nations must decide the rights of its citizens, and the circumstances under which rescue services can save a life, not some faceless bureaucrat in Brussels.

There are of course many other areas of concern to the British people, as there must be in other European nations, but to list them all would turn this post into a book.

UK Exports By Year 1990 To 2006

UK Exports By Year 1990 To 2006

One other major concern that British voters must take into consideration when voting on such an issue is the economic impact. I have read recent reports proclaiming how Britain had most of its trade with Commonwealth nations before we joined the EU. Some seem to think that if we turn our back on Europe we can rekindle this relationship but I think they are dead wrong. Nations like Canada, Australia and New Zealand were suddenly ‘left in the lurch’ when Britain joined the EU and had to scramble to find alternative markets for their goods. These are now well established and it is unlikely Britain can replace its European trading partners with those of the Commonwealth again.

London has over the years become the financial hub of Europe with many major banks and companies having their headquarters in The City. If the British vote ‘No’ to Europe you can bet your last dollar there will be a mass exodus of these companies to somewhere like Berlin, Brussels, or even Amsterdam, and London will become a ghost of its former self. With so many empty office blocks in The City the economy of London will most likely collapse.

The City - Europe's Financial Centre

The City – Europe’s Financial Centre

The one fear I have is that if and when the referendum takes place, people will vote ‘No’ without thinking of the wider issues. The government cannot expect Mrs. Jones who lives at number 42 to have any idea of the economic consequences of leaving Europe.  It’s one thing to hate the interference from Brussels and shout that you want to be rid of them, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, such a move could spell economic disaster for the country.

It all hangs on how the referendum will be presented, and what questions will be asked of the public. If  the people are given a straight choice of  ‘in or out’ the backlash could be disastrous. On the other hand, if people are also asked which areas of control should be clawed back from Brussels, most will probably vote to stay in and give the government a firm indication of the changes the British want to see.

The British Prime Minister - David Cameron

The British Prime Minister – David Cameron

In my opinion, if the EU is to function as a cohesive element in the world countries have to be given back their national identity and not be told by the Brussels crowd the how, what and when of governing their own people. The politicians in Brussels should concern themselves with international politics, i.e. Europe as a whole, when communicating with the rest of the world.

I believe that the Prime Minster is firmly on the right track, but whatever happens, it is essential that David Cameron gives the general public a full understanding of what is at stake in the referendum.

Roy.

2 Responses to “Is David Camerons’ Referendum Idea the Right Approach?”

  1. Alfie Says:

    Not for nothing but if the UK were to put up a more overt wall between themselves and the EU I doubt there would be much to worry about.
    First off the UK financial markets are the better ones and will face a lose whether they stay with United States of Brussels or not. Tobin tax schemes etc will see to it so staying out of it is a good idea. There is also a school of thought that the world could see the spheres come on line. The UK clearly has a seat at the table that could be called the Anglosphere.
    Impersonally think the UK voter should say OUT! The dominoes to follow need not be tragic.

    Like

    • Hi Alan,
      You may well be right, but I think the politicians need to examine all the facts and the possible outcomes before they put this question to the people, and more importantly, make sure the people understand them. I am sure Britain could stay in the EU but have the right to reject things like the human rights laws etc if they choose. It has been said that Britain would raise its own human rights charter which would not give emphasis on the rights of the criminal and terrorist. This would work, however, we will see when the time comes.
      Best Regards,
      Roy.

      Like

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