Friday, September 14, 2007

Cat among pigeons

When I first saw the BBC headline Lib Dems call for EU referendum I'd assumed that Ming Campbell was just getting a bit forgetful, bearing in mind that a couple of days ago he'd said that a referendum wasn't necessary. I now see that he's actually been entirely consistent - he doesn't want a referendum on the constitution, but on the broader question of Britain's relationship with the EU in toto.
Received wisdom seems to be that Brown might just go for this. It's essentially what Keith Vaz called for, and Brown will probably think that he could win a referendum on this. It would be a bit of a fraud:
do you: a) want to sign the EU Constitution; or
b) want to leave the EU altogether
but that won't prevent Brown from doing it. The question is, would the British electorate vote vote in favour of staying in the EU? It's got a terribly bad press, and the public have been deprived of an effective voice on the matter ever since 1975. I wouldn't be astonished if, on being asked the question, a majority didn't just say: actually, sod you all, I want my money back.

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