April 11, 2005

what the arguments in the EU Referendum will be

An interesting post from EU Referendum on the kind of arguements that Eurosceptics are going to face if there is a referendum on the EU constitution.
It is, however, worth thinking about the whole conversation. In the first place, fear of America and American control will be used a good deal by the yes side in the referendum campaign. I have already heard Professor Stephen Haseler of the Federal Trust produce that argument.

The reason that can work and will work with many people is the widespread ignorance and lack of understanding of what is actually meant by having power or control.

Thus, American influence on a small part of Britain’s foreign policy, based on the fact that the US is the strongest country in the western alliance, is built up to mean that British affairs are somehow run by the American President. (An added piece of ignorance there is the assumption that somehow Bush is going to be President for ever and ever instead of only till 2008.)

The fact that the European Union is actually responsible for half of the major pieces of legislation and 80 per cent of all legislation in this country (and that, presumably, does not include the many rules and regulations that never go through Parliament at all but are implemented by agencies such as the Food Standards Agency) passes people by.
So the arguments generally have nothing to do with the EU and are based on the false assumption that the UK (nuclear power, permenant member of the UN security council, and 4th biggest ecconomy in the world) must either be ruled by the EU of the USA. The other option of being independent of either doesn't seem to register. So we have to actually explain the real meanings of power, influance and sovereignty (all concepts much abused by the EU) before even starting to make the case on what a terrible, unrequired, and corrupt, waste of money the EU is.


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