October I wrote about the proposed Conservative move for an "In/Out" referendum for the EU and said that the time was not right well now I'm going to suggest that later this year will be the time.
Nick Bowles had said that the UK would only get one shot at a referendum or threatening one and last year was too early. However with Greece unable to form a government, their imminent departure from the Eurozone, Spain forcing in austerity policy, the Italian, Portuguese and Dutch economies shrinking and only the German growth keeping the Euro afloat now may be the time. After all the UKs economy has grown, not much but a little and the economy is moving forward - again sluggishly but like Germany's in the right direction.
By the time we have the Police Commissioners vote in November this year the climate in Europe will probably have deteriorated further and the conditions thus better for the UK to make a "fairer deal" or pull out before it gets any worse taking our hard earned taxes with it. After all, we the people are having our services cut and held back to help with the deficit not to bail out the Greek economy. A referendum would also be welcome.
I know there isn't a lot of time before November for an informed debate but lets be honest most people have made up their minds about Europe already.
Countries are preparing contingencies for their own economies if Greece were to pull out or stay and there is a certain amount of uncertainty of what's going to happen and inflexibility with the German Chancellor over the treaties and what can and can't be done to rectify the situation and with the new French President, M Hollande, change is inevitable.I would not be surprised if fresh treaties and deals are to be hammered out in the very near future and the UK needs to be able to say "In" or "Out" and negotiate from a strong position. May be now is the time to Put up and shut up, end the divide and answer the question.
I know that we're a pro European party and I'm all for that (although I feel the EU needs some serious reform.) the party may need to tone this down to appeal to the electorate. The British people are historically Euro-phobic, with a certain amount of right, and they shy away from the Libdems because of our vocal support. Maybe in 2015, especially in the light of the Euro Meltdown, we should just state policy commitment to a referendum in the event of treaty change and leave it at that.I know it is important for us to stand our ground within the Coalition, especially for our beliefs etc but Cameron's Conservatives are winning points over the party left right and centre as we are looking like we're lashed to the mast of a ship with a course set for rocks. We should press for a referendum at the end of this year and give the people what they so desperately want rather than shaking our heads in belief that we know best. Europe will continue to be a sticky situation and very fluidic, it would do the party well to remain fluidic too and respond to the posibility that change will happen in Brussels and we as a Nation will have to adapt to it.