Saturday, May 18, 2013

Portillo and the EU referendum

Michael Portillo on BBC's This Week had an interesting take on the EU referendum. He is, of course, a Eurosceptic.He thinks that no Government is likely to take the UK into the Eurozone (or agree to any substantial transfer of powers to the EU) without a referendum; and in any case there is now a legislative "referendum lock". He also thinks a referendum on joining the eurozone would - not just now but in the future - produce a "No" vote. But he thinks that in an in/out referendum on the EU, it is likely that voters would vote to stay in, and then that a future Government (of whatever stripe) would use that as a "green light" for further integration, even joining the Eurozone, without another referendum. As a Eurosceptic he wonders whether the strategy being pursued by Conservative Eurosceptics is wise.

As a pro-European Politaholic thinks a referendum is probably now inevitable. It may not be a bad thing (if it produces a "Yes" vote). This festering xenophobic Eurosceptic boil needs to lanced. And once it is, as Portillo fears, the Eurosceptics won't have a leg to stand on. Risky, for sure; but it may be the way to go.


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