#G336 – cross-party campaign for a REFERENDUM on whether Britain should stay in the EU
I have had conversation with executive level in this campaign and am assured this is NOT involving Farage as a spoiler mission and that they are in negotiation with Nikki Sinclaire and her cross party Petition and see her activities and theirs as completely complimentary.
Clearly if Farage was involved there would be need to have care as to where the data went and what happens to any monies as Farage, David Lott & Mark Croucher fronted the UKIP Petition which ‘lost’ £1/4 Million of tax payers’ funds never accounted and was never carried out as a petition!
EU Referendum: Now for the most important vote of all
Daniel Hannan launches a cross-party campaign for a ballot on whether Britain should stay in the EU.
By Daniel Hannan
Published: 5:51PM BST 07 Sep 2010
No one under the age of 54 has been asked about Britain’s relationship with the EU.
No one under the age of 54 has been asked about Britain’s relationship with the EU
The decision to hold a referendum on the voting system has surely killed off, once and for all, any notion that plebiscites are alien to the British constitution. Referendums, once rare events, have become an unexceptional part of our democratic procedures. Before the election of Tony Blair, we had had only four such votes: one each in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and one across the UK on continued membership of the Common Market. Since 1997, however, there have been a further 39 local and regional ballots – not counting the hundreds of parish-wide polls called in 2007 to demand a national vote on Europe.
The question, these days, is not whether referendums are compatible with representative democracy, but what the next one will be about. If we are allowed a vote on how to elect our MPs, why not a vote on whether those MPs run the country? 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 – EUReferendumCampaign.com – and sign our pledge.
European integration is precisely the kind of question that our great constitutionalists, Walter Bagehot, Thomas Erskine-May and, above all, A V Dicey, would have regarded as a proper subject for a popular ballot. It is an issue that divides all the main parties; an issue that cannot easily be settled at general elections; an issue of major constitutional significance; and an issue that sets Parliament against people. Opinion polls consistently show that between 40 and 55 per cent of voters want to withdraw from the EU, yet this position is shared by just one per cent of MPs. Here, in short, is a textbook case of where a referendum should serve as what Dicey called “the people’s veto”: a guarantee that politicians elected under one set of rules should not be able to change those rules without a further and explicit mandate.
No one under the age of 54 has been asked about Britain’s relationship with the EU. Yet there have been gargantuan transfers of power to Brussels since 1975. Then, the EEC was a trading association. Today, it is a proto-state, with a foreign minister and diplomatic corps, a police agency and criminal justice system, a parliament and government, a currency, driving licence, passport and flag. If ever there was a proper subject for a plebiscite, this is it.
Against all these arguments is levelled, if we are honest, only one: fear of the outcome. It is a rotten argument. As Vernon Bogdanor, the closest thing to a contemporary Dicey, puts it, “in the final analysis, the arguments against referendums are arguments against democracy”.
We see once again how, as well as being undemocratic in itself, the EU can require its member states to sacrifice a measure of their internal democracy. Seven governments had promised referendums on the European Constitution in 2005; six of them, fearing the result, went back on their words. Britain was one of those six.
This is as much about the integrity of our democratic institutions as about Europe. All three of our most recent prime ministers have promised us a vote on European integration. Here is Tony Blair in 2004: “There is no question of any constitutional treaty going through without the express consent of the British people…. Regardless of how other members vote, we will have a referendum on the subject.” Here is Gordon Brown’s 2005 election manifesto: “We will put it to the British people in a referendum.” And here is David Cameron in 2007: “Today, I will give you a cast-iron guarantee: If I become Prime Minister a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations”.
Trusting the electorate would be the best way to answer the criticism that politicians, as a class, are out-of-touch. Far from detracting from the sovereignty of Parliament, a referendum would restore a measure of that institution’s legitimacy. MPs should recognise that they are not the owners of our liberty, but its temporary and contingent custodians. If they want to carry on handing away our independence, they should have the decency to ask our permission.
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“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Regards, Greg L-W. for all my contact details & Blogs: CLICK HERE British Politicians with pens and treachery, in pursuit of their own agenda and greed, have done more damage to the liberty, freedoms, rights and democracy of the British peoples than any army in over 1,000 years. The disastrous effects of British politicians selling Britain into the thrall of foreign rule by the EU for their own personal rewards has damaged the well-being of Britain more than the armies of Hitler and the Franco – German – Italian axis of 1939 – 1945.
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