Friday, 25 January 2013
Ed misses the boat on Europe Referendum
Nope - it's Ed Miliband.
While there are fundamental differences of opinion between Nick and Dave about this - and some Labourites are siding with Nick on this, at least they are both in touch with the general feeling of the population that there should be a referendum on Europe.
I know some of my readers will disagree with my stance on Europe but I am sure we agree that taking this to the populous to vote is the right strategy, in fact the only strategy.
I agree with Nick, however, that 2017 is far too late and could be detrimental to British business as it remains unclear as to what is going on and can and will have detrimental effects on investment. By putting at 2017 it is clearly a carrot for people to ignore UKIP and vote Conservative again so you can get a referendum.
That aside it is Ed, who has been hurriedly bypassed by some of his MPs, who is flailing. At PMQs he said that Labour did not support an In/Out referendum (despite it being in their last manifesto) only to be corrected on line by MPs saying We do support it just not in post 2015.
So, has Ed blundered?
Whether he got it confused or was just continuing Labour's seeming policy of being the complete opposite to the Coalition and Conservatives that just back fired, Ed has indeed put his foot in it.
There have been severe vocal grumblings by a minority of the country for quite sometime amd discontent from a much larger number too!
PMQs saw Ed struggling as he didn't seem to grasp Cameron's answer and kept playing the line;
He doesn't answer the question so I'll ask again.
He got the question Ed - You just didn't get the answer.
Cameron said that he was in favour of a reformed Europe and would clearly vote yes in a referendum if the EU could be reformed - duh!
The question is now Ed; Do you stand by your position that you are against a referendum (flying in the face of all popular and media opinion) or are you in favour of democracy and giving the people a voice (albeit against the 2017 time frame and want it sooner)?
If it is the former - God help the Labour party in 2015 as I fear many will vote Tory just to get a referendum on this EXCEPTIONALLY important issue.
As the EU has changed and other nations have held referendums so has the cry for a referendum grown in this country. Sooner rather than later is the cry now. Better for us as a nation, better for business, better for the EU as they can finally decide things and know where they stand rather than have the possibility of the UK leaving in four years time.
The people deserve a voice on this and there should be cross party support for actually giving it to them (with a time frame that can be agreed fairly.) not believing that the people are too incapable of deciding.