Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From that conference in Manchester

This is the last week of political grandstanding, known as the party political conferences. We just have to get through it.

I am quite pleased, as readers will know that the Boy-King has again said that there will be no in/out referendum on EU membership. There is no question in my mind that we would lose. Whenever any eurosceptic tells me with great pomposity or sincerity (take your pick) that we are bound to win I suggest one or two questions that are bound to come up in the campaign and ask him or her how he or she will reply.

For instance: exactly how do we effect that exit? What are we to do with all the deals that now go under the EU's umbrella but will no longer exist once we are out? I am not talking just about trade deals, which will have to be re-negotiated but about other matters, such as student exchange. Whenever I raise that one people look horrified, not having realized just how much of our life is now governed by the EU.

These are not insuperable barriers - everything can be renegotiated in a different framework and, probably, more advantageously to us but until we understand and have a plan how we proceed, we shall lose any referendum.

This morning I was once again told by e-mail from Bill Cash's office (no link to the text but it is not private communication):
In the most recent YouGov poll, almost half of the British public would vote for Britain to leave the European Union if there were a referendum on British membership. In fact, 47% would want Britain to leave the EU compared to 33% who say they would vote for Britain to retain its membership. This means the British people do want to see a real change.
Do these people really think that 47 per cent for withdrawal so long before the other side has even bothered to campaign is of any significance? That figure is not high enough and will become even lower as the arguments so few of us can actually answer will pour forth from well-funded sources.

In case, somebody wants a few arguments about the extent of our trade with other EU countries (which can and will be renegotiated if we ever get to leave), here are some. Interesting figures that show, unsurprisingly, our famous trade agreements to be not in our interest; and the refusal to tell the truth how much of that trade is actually with other countries but goes through Antwerp and Rotterdam.

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