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2013-07-06 - 19:09:22 - by AlisonW - Topic: Europe: United Kingdom |

I was listening to BBC's Any Questions on Friday night and tweeted along with it (I *love* backchannels!) After the prog ended I received a DM from Radio 4 asking whether I'd be available to talk on the Any Answers follow-up programme today, and they followed that up with a number of phone calls this morning.

Sadly, after listening to the whole of AA just now, they never covered the referendum (damn!) so, as I'd written out my comments I decided I needed to 'put it' somewhere, and here is where that is.

The question asked of the AQ panel was whether the country should be trusted to decide about the UK's continued membership of the EU.

My viewpoint:

I'm sorry to say that I find it very difficult to trust the electorate to make any decision about the EU when it is almost impossible for *anyone* to be fully uninformed and people are likely to simply let themselves believe the biased press coverage, which is clearly, strongly against continued membership. 'Democracy' presumes decisions are made on unbiased information, and that isn't widely available in this case.

I voted in the 1975 referendum - it was my first ever vote - but I don't think we should have had that referendum either: we have a representative democracy in this country, we elect MPs to be informed about matters and make decisions on behalf of our country. You don't have a dog and wag your own tail.

It is also the case that "IN" / "OUT" is far too simplistic a question, and anyone thinking that it can be asked, let alone answered, doesn't understand what the European Union is about.

I voted 'yes' in the original referendum, I believe in the EU as a force for good, and still support a Federal Europe of equal states. The suggestion that we should have another at some arbitrary future date would be terrible for the recovery of this country and is about Tory party splits

We haven't had a referendum on privatising the NHS - but it is happening - or on cutting benefits to disabled people. Why is Europe so special? The Tories took us in, signed the Maastricht treaty, and now Cameron has a problem with his backbenchers and Party financiers. Letting the press make that decision is just dangerous.



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