Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Time for an EU referendum
Whilst there was a certain opportunistic edge to Labour's proposition and indeed an opportunity for the Conservative's Achilles heal making its usual appearance there does appear to be an opening to seriously discuss Europe and the possibility of a referendum.
It is a subject that we all avoid talking about, both sides are fairly entrenched and no middle ground is achievable - it is either in or out.
I'm an idealist when it comes to Europe. I see a lot of potential in the EU. Trade, policing, green measures - if we all talk and cooperate we are stronger together than apart. I like to envision a Europe together rather than the fractured self serving states out to get what they can.
Unfortunately the ideas of spheres of influence and countries trying to undermine each other is still virulent now and though my younger self would have loved to see Europe dominated by Germany it could be detrimental for it to carry on this way.
With Parliament rightly voting against the move to agree to the proposed EU budget rise it means we can pull out the referendum Pandora's box, set it on the table and discuss opening it.
Only a year ago I argued that opening it at this current time would be wrong.
Now... Now I think we should seriously talk about it.
Not in the tribal, tub-thumping, point scoring, "He said" "you said" way that Parliament seems to devolve into but a serious, sensible, adult debate.
Lets be honest, the Conservatives are divided over the issue, they always have been and always will be. Let's not be trying to score points or try to rub vinegar in the wound for party political gain. ( I'm talking to you Ed and Harriet.) This is a serious issue, one that could define British economic, domestic and foreign policy for a generation.
This should be an open debate without party lines or whips - just honest open debate.
This extends to local politicians/politicos as well. We should let them debate this one in peace. After all this is a MAJOR concern of many of the electorate and many feel cheated as to the level of involvement the Nation is in compared with what Edward Heath promised and many have never been asked.
The time has come to evaluate and discuss openly and frankly a matter that is a major talking point and concern for many and could have serious repercussions for the nation both good and bad.
Sometimes it is a good idea to evaluate a course of action at such a juncture rather than to continue on blindly regardless to whatever end.
Let's make Mrs Bone happy and carry out our promise on an open, fair referendum sooner rather than later.