Friday, September 07, 2007

Time to Stand Up

I Want a Referendum

Iain Dale has highlighted the launch of the new website for the cross-party campaign to raise the pressure on Brown to call a referendum on the upcoming EU treaty.

You can sign up to show your support quickly and easily on the site, as a few thousand already have.

Back already?

It's certainly a professionally put together offering with a fresh simple look and a direct message. We were promised something and now we want it. Their YouTube campaign video takes a similar approach:

If I was to question one aspect of the case made on the site, it would be the occasional forays in to the actual implications of the treaty itself, focusing on some sensitive issues like immigration and EU control of foreign policy. While I may have some sympathy with the arguments they make, especially in the latter example, I can't help feeling that this may diminish the potential for true cross-party support.

As I have posted previously, one of the most encouraging things about the current situation is the number of public figures who are highly supportive of the EU who have come to the conclusion that a referendum is needed, both from the standpoint that it is a promise that should be honoured, and also that it is a debate that should take place.

I'm not sure that with the tone the campaign has currently set, that some key players will feel that a broad enough church has been pitched for them to enter it. I couldn't imagine, for example, too many more senior Lib Dems, who currently seem to be in two minds on their position on a referendum feeling entirely comfortable with the current message.

It would probably have been better to have a clear position that it was a campaign simply for the promised referendum, not a campaign for a referendum and a subsequent 'no' vote. It should simply be based on the fact that such a vote was promised, is patently necessary if the British people are ever, as a whole, to feel comfortable with our relationship with the EU, and that it is long overdue.

That said, fundamentally it is an initiative I wholeheartedly support, and I hope it may act as a rallying point for the very many initiatives along the same lines that many have been working on.

The pressure must continue to mount on Brown. I can't believe, given his upbringing, that he can be entirely comfortable knowing that with one signature any reputation he may have had for integrity and honesty will be gone at a stroke. Add in the amount of political pressure he is under from several angles, and he might just decide that upsetting the Commission is very much the least of several evils.

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