Sunday, September 02, 2007

Vaz and the Euro-Referendum

Keith Vaz's proposal to hold a euro-referendum on the new EU treaty on the same day as the next General Election strikes me as crazy. The sole effect would be to push Europe up the electoral agenda. It is likely that there would be a "No" vote and I am not sure the bulk of electorate is sufficiently sophisticated to "split vote" (to vote "No" and vote for a pro-European party); so it would help the Conservatives. Yet, Vaz has a point. Politaholic has, over the years, been converted to a pro-European position. A federal Europe? Bring it on !! But Vaz has a point. There is no question that the European project - right from the early days of Monnet and Schumann - has been an elite-led top-down process, and steps towards integration have often outrun popular support for them. It probably had to be that way. But sooner or later the Eurosceptic (or, as I often think, Euroseptic) boil must be lanced. My reading of the polling evidence is that although the electorate is mostly Eurosceptic, the bulk of the electorate are persuadable. Sooner or later the pro-Europeans must make and win the argument. But not on General Election day.


Blogger James said...

If the general election does occur before the EU treaty has been signed off by parliament, I think the election will effectively become a EU yes or no vote anyway. Those wishing to see a greater involvement in Europe will naturally gravitate towards Labour, those with an opposing view will be more likely to vote Conservative.

12:14 pm  

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