Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Clegg v Cameron on Euro referendum

Since before recorded history the inhabitants of this island have not got on with the mainland and conflict has been rife between the two ranging from raids to invasion to full out genocide. This has all subsided in the aftermath of World War Two. As Britain's star waned and her position as the World's greatest superpower was lost, Germany's star has risen from complete annihilation to economic powerhouse and let's face it, the real voice in the EU.

The Conservative party has always had this divide over Europe that has gained even more relevance during the economic crisis and the collapse of the Eurozone. There are many calls from backbenchers, including Rochester & Strood's Mark Reckless MP, for a referendum.

There is also another dynamic to the Conservative divide and that is the Libdems. As a party, we're generally quite receptive to the notion or ideal of the EU, though not always the reality! It has however caused rumblings, one the The Telegraph were happy to exploit and make more news worthy than it probably is.

On Radio 4's Today programme Nick stated that;

We should be very careful, at a time when the British economy is still haltingly recovering from the worst economic shock for a generation, to create a very high and prolonged period of uncertainty.

His argument being that this continued debate and uncertainty of a referendum before the already legislated time has the potential to put off business and economic investment.

To a degree, I agree. Government has set the ball rolling on a referendum and the Coalition agreement clearly states that a referendum will only be called in this parliament if there is to be a serious shift of powers to Brussels.

However, the Tories have gone back on their word before...

However you feel about Europe, you must see it from a Business point of view. For stability and certainty you want a potential scheme to have a certain amount of continuity and not be subject to an expensive change in circumstances. It could be another painful pin prick to our already lacerated economy.

The Prime Minister's office have contradicted Nick and stated that it is in the National interest to have this debate now. Indeed many of the British public want to, UKIP want to and Tory strategists who want to halt their advance and heal rifts with in their own party want to.

As Pratchett's Lord Vetinari said;

What is in the public interest is seldom in the public interest

I tend to follow this point. Though a debate is needed caution and an ear to possible business and economic currents is needed. All of the uncertainty is causing ripples that are effecting many side issues like falling stones on a mountain that causes an avalanche.

I suppose my meandering, sleep deprived and overworked mind is to either, be quiet, stick to the agreement and wait for the legislated referendum or, lets schedule one for the summer and get it out of the way. The next battle would be for the vote to be fair and open. At current the British public would vote No based solely on misconceptions of certain issues - yes the EU has some horrednous problems but then agian it has its bonuses but it is not the purpose of this post to discuss that - that, is as they say - is another story.

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