Commenting On Cameron’s Europe Speech

Last Friday I joined a radio discussion on the Voice of Russia talking about David Cameron’s Europe speech. Here is how they announced it:

VoR’s Tom Spender asks a mixed panel if David Cameron’s announcement that he would hold an ‘In/Out’ referendum on the EU if re-elected is a significant milestone in British history or just an attempt to kick a tricky political issue down the road until after the next election.

Joining us in the London studio for the debate were: George Eaton, editor of The Staggers blog, New Statesman; Dr Henning Meyer, Editor of Social Europe Journal and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Government Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science; David Coburn, UKIP London Region Chairman; and by phone, Nikki Sinclaire, Independent MEP, the founder of the Campaign for a Referendum.

If you cannot bear to listen for half an hour listen to the first 10 minutes and the last 5 minutes. I argue against some of the UKIP scaremongering tactics.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVQrfLlBYs8]

  • Sergiusz

    Judging by the quality of arguments presented in this show one wonders why Cameron is so scared of Ukip…

    • Henning Meyer

      I also thought most of them very quite easy to put straight…

  • Ian Young

    That senior UKIP figure talking about sailing away in ‘a new Elizabethan age’ is also an ex-currency trader. Are they really the Pirate Party?

  • global city

    One poll has seen a cut in the numbers wishing to remain in the EU. All of the others have seen a large increase, so why push this single one? Your readers should know that the person who owns yougov ( the poll organisation that published this aberent poll) is the husband of Baroness Ashton.

    I was a bit disappointed listening to the broadcast as given the hyperbole Hennen Meyer in the opening text above, I was expecting to hear some solid rebuttals of the fundamental issues regarding right to self determination, the restrictions of a globally connected country in an obsolete customs union and the consequenses of ever closer union.

    the EU is not the primary concern, as I suppose that the federal nature of the USA or gun control are the main concerns during US elections, but when asked about the subject you can be sure that people have FIRM views. This is especially with regards to the lies told to the people when the UK joined, and then again when we had the referendum on continued membership in 1975. You need to look to that deception to understand the hard scepticism toward the EU. if there had been an honest approach then the people would most likely have said No, as the people have never supported any sort of loss of sovereignty. If you do not understand and respect this then you will never end the British position on our membership.

    Just one more skewered piece by the Europhile commentariat

    • Henning Meyer

      What has the personal relationship of a polling company owner to do with a representative poll? Do you think this made it less representative? Your comment sounds like you have stopped listening to arguments a long time ago. I presented a few rebuttals but if you don’t want to listen I cannot force you.

      • Global city

        You have not amde a convincing case. Do not accuse me of closing my ears. many years ago I was a firm supporter of the EU. Have you ever seriously considered the case against ever closer union, from your dogmatic points made on the radio interview I would guess not.

        As far as the polls go, it does not automatically follow that relationship to someone high up in the EU means that you would somehow skewer polling results, except….

        The poll that you highlighted is at varience to all of the others taken in the period around cameron’s speech. The owner of the company has also been in the media trying to explain his survey methodology.. all convoluted and quite irrelevant. check them out for yourself?

  • Richard IV

    ‘For those with no ears’ : In 1975 what evrybody knew was UK was up the creek had it not entered the ECC and its political scopes where open and widly agreed by almost everyone in the right state of mind (almost all). Furthermore they UK Government were asked to sign on the pre-referendum paper that bu 1980 Military, Economic and Political Union should have followed. The French kept a veto on this issue. So who is saying LIES now and who had FIRM views? Thanks the EU instead you are live and kicking mate.

    • Global city

      That is just not the case. A year later the UK government had to go to the IMF to be bailed out. The subsequent remodelling of the finances by labour’s Dennis Healy, then the more radical changes made my margret Thatcher, were the determining factors in turning round the UK economy and government finances.

      But, you have just highlighted some of the rathr strange ideas that some have about the UK and the EU. From year one the UK has had a quite unhealthy trade deficit with the EU. The narrative surrounding the EU is clear and everywhere, all thought that it was merely a trading bloc. This is so ingrained that the main business editor of Liverpool’s business newspaper was saying just last week how the free trade area model of the EU is being copied all over the world, when we know for a fact that the customs union model at the core of a political project of integration has not been taken up anywhere else in the world.

      If teh consequences of ‘ever closer union’ as clearly stated in the Treaty of Rome was honestly explained then I am sure that the peole would have voted NOT to remain in the EU. If they had then it would have been a decision made with full knowledge.

      The Eu did not rescue the UK. If anything it has made a globally focused trading country turn against those old contacts to concentrate on an inward looking ‘Europe’. This is borne out by the UK dropping the ‘Commonwealth preference’ for ‘Community preference’, with one it was maintaining open to trade from a third of the world, the other was having to focus on a collectivist and protectinist customs union.

      There is nothing beneficial for the UK in the areas of political integration, and as the trade is also on the deficit side then this is also clearly not to our advantage. The UK, despite these barriers to external trade the UK runs a surplus with the rest of the world. Strange, isn’t it.. how mush the EU costs, but that it saved us at the same time!

  • Global city

    Apologies for this extra piece, but I thought that I would make the plea for people to research the onerous conditions placed on the UK in order to admit the country into the EU. In addition to the system of french farming subsidies, the ‘entrance fee’ was set at an incredibly high rate (hence the ‘rebate’ Thatcher forced). In addition to these the Eu came up with a swiftly concocted Common fisheries policy, that has since devestated the british fishing fleet and caused an ecological disaster. If oyu add the massive amount of over-regulation tha tht e statist minded EU imposes on a country that was used to freer environments for business, then you can see how all of it begins to stack up.

    Henning. You did not answer the specific points that I raised. How do you reconcile ceding democracy and a populous that does not wish to? How do you maintain ever closer union, when the people have said they want no more, and in fact want to repatriate much of what has been ceded already? How do you persuade me that the UK is better confining itself to a customs union, rather than regalvanise relations with it’s international family. Remember, the people of the UK feel that they have much closer connections with people around teh world than they do with continental Europe. This is not a position of opposition, an either/or situation, it is a simple fact. Why shouold we turn our backs on the English speaking world and the Commonwealth any longer? Given that India and China conduct their business, trade and international relations using English, why is it more sensible for the UK to merge itself within the developing ‘United States of Europe’?

    That last point is a fundamentally important one in it’s own right.Forget the economic pleas and notions of co-operation etc, get to the basic issue.

    Make the case, if you can, for the United Kingdom, ceding complete sovereignty in order to become a region within a new ‘nation’, as we all know this is where the project will end up. If the train is going to Brighton and you have no intention of ever going to Brighton (as the vast majority of people here insist they have no interest in doing) why stay on the train any longer?

    You must consider these in the context of the poulation, rather than what you expect political elites to do.

    I am eager to read what you and any other readers of this column think about these issues.