Negative UKIP discrediting case for Britain leaving the EU
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins – Greg_L-W.
8 April 2015
Negative UKIP discrediting case for Britain leaving the EU
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Tony Blair has given us a preview of how EU supporters intend to fight the referendum campaign. They will avoid awkward data: the fact, for example, that the British exports to the EU are in precipitate decline, that our net budget contribution has quadrupled in five years, that the most successful countries in Europe are Switzerland and Norway, or that every continent on the planet is experiencing economic growth except Europe. Instead, they will present the poll as a Kulturkampf – a struggle between broad-minded cosmopolitans and chauvinist Blimps.
If you want trade and collaboration with our neighbours, they will imply, you must vote to stay in. The actual Eurosceptic case – that free trade with the EU doesn’t depend on political union, and that a maritime nation should raise its eyes to more distant horizons – won’t be refuted; it’ll simply be ignored.
Now ask yourself this. If the pro-EU side could write their opponents’ script, what would it say? My guess is that they would want Eurosceptics to adopt a relentlessly cynical and bitter tone. They would want us to complain about foreigners bringing diseases into the country, about too many languages being heard on our streets, about religious minorities being a potential fifth column.
The reason they would want us to do these things is that they know that pessimism rarely wins. Even when people agree with the individual policies being suggested – and the Australia-style points-based immigration system that UKIP proposes is eminently sensible – they are repelled by a gloomy pitch.
Think of last year’s referendum in Scotland. The SNP had splashed out on a single session with a top US political consultant. He told the assembled campaigners that the more optimistic candidate generally wins, and made them do an exercise where they had to hand over a coin every time they said something negative. Alex Salmond plainly took the lesson to heart. He swallowed up everything that Unionists threw at him in a supernova of cheeriness. The “No” campaign, by contrast, made the elementary mistake of focusing on what might go wrong. Would Scotland keep the pound? Would companies relocate? Could it stay in the EU? In consequence, the “Yes” side steadily closed the gap, moving from 20 points behind to near parity. Only in the final week of the campaign, spooked by the opinion polls, did Unionists make the argument they should have made all along, namely that Scotland was doing pretty well out of the existing arrangement, thanks very much.
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. To carry a referendum on leaving the EU, we Eurosceptics need to offer a better alternative. We need to make our case in warm and positive language – and, above all, in economic language.
That’s not what is currently happening. If I say the word “Eurosceptic”, what’s the first image that comes into your mind? My guess is that it’s an angry Ukipper talking about immigration.
If we go into the referendum with one side talking about trade and investment while the other is talking about Romanians and Bulgarians, who is going to sound the more serious? Actually, we already know the answer to that question: we can see it in the inverse correlation in the polls between support for UKIP and support for Brexit.
I know we’re in an election campaign. Still, let me appeal to those UKIP supporters who care about national independence, those who truly mean it when they talk of putting country before party. Please remember that what you say now isn’t magically erased on polling day; it will be quoted back at you when the referendum campaign begins in earnest. There is no point in galvanising the already committed if, in the process, you alienate the undecided. Recall what it was that brought you into politics in the first place.
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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain having only 8%, if united, say. The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy; yet it is willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States to impose democracy on them!The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, when we leave the EU and by then being a part of the Eropean Economic Area all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU vassal regions and can trade and negotiate independently on a global stage.One huge benefit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly in our own interest and that of our partners around the world in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and term imposed by unelected EU bureacrats.The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, which with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.How we go about the process of disentangling our future well being from the EU is laid out in extensive, well researched and immensly tedious detail see >FleXcit< or for a brief video summary CLICK HERE
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