EU Referendum: An Empty Promise

January 25, 2013
Author Article News Opinion

European ParliamentShouldn’t I be jumping for joy that Prime Minister David Cameron has offered an In-Out Referendum vote on the European Union?

I wish I could. But remember that he has offered such a vote should his so-called Conservative Party win a majority at the next General Election. Cameron has argued that he wants to stay in the EU. His speech equates Britain’s past involvements in Europe with membership of the EU. As usual, he does not know what he is talking about. Britain’s past involvement in Europe was precisely BECAUSE we refused to be part of a Pan-European Catholic hegemony. Britain’s interests were never served by successive attempts to create pan-European political entities, whether by the old Holy Roman Empire, France, particular dynastic choices in the Iberian Pensinsula, or the expansion of successive German Reichen.

The main reason why I am not jumping for joy, however, is that we all know it will never happen. Before the last election, there was a time when Cameron was promising a referendum on the terms of the European Constitution. That never happened, and the Constitution was introduced surreptitiously, under the guise of the Lisbon Treaty. Meanwhile, the Referendum promise was overturned. If Cameron had stuck to his guns on the issue, I think there is a chance he could have had a majority in the 2010 election. But now this most unConservative of Conservative Prime Ministers has promised a Referendum that he knows he will never have to deliver. Why? Because, his offer of a Referendum simply proves that he knows the game is up; he is never going to be re-elected.

Overwhelmingly, the most likely option for the result of the next election is a majority Labour Government, and a return to full-fledged social democracy. This, in my opinion, will be a disaster for Britain. It is interesting, however, that on social and moral issues, there will be no change! The current Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition has been the most socially liberal on record, making a mockery of any conservative credentials. Even truly Conservative voters will be wondering why they should choose fake-Labour, rather than a real Labour government. There is currently no genuine Conservative machine on offer.

It is a cynical ploy for a politician to offer something he knows he will never have to deliver. As I look at the British scene, time and again I give thanks that I am currently able to live and work in the United States – though 4 more years of Obama could set America irretrievably down the social democracy road, that David Cameron refused even to attempt to steer Britain out of.

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