Finally it looks like the EU referendum might be a fair fight after all. David Cameron’s defeat on Monday night, his first of the new #Parliament, has ensured that a snap referendum can’t be called and there will have to be a lengthy debate played out as to whether the UK should remain a part of the EU or opt to leave.
It followed a recommendation from the Electoral Commission to change the weighted which allowed the pro EU camp to take up a positive ‘yes’ position, to a fairer remain/leave question. Downing Street accepted it and anyone interested in democracy being upheld must encourage MPs to vote for it too.
This is all positive news for those that wish to see the UK exit the EU and they will have been further buoyed by the weekend’s Survation poll which showed 51% of voters would vote to leave if the referendum was held tomorrow. Of course this poll discounts the undecided who tend to stick with the devil they know, but it’s a step in the right direction. UKIP’s pledge to run their own campaign and thus avoiding the negative circus that surrounds them contaminating the official campaign is further good news.
However the most cheerful bit of news for Brexit campaigners is the changing public opinion on what would happen to the economy following an EU exit. A recent poll shows that 43% of voters believe the UK could negotiate a free trade deal with Europe following an exit, compared with 40% who fear UK isolation. That fear is the pro EU camp’s biggest asset and the more it gets chiselled away, the more chance there is of a vote to leave the EU.
We already know that a large proportion of the British electorate want to take back control of their own borders, they want British judges to have the final say and not be overruled by Strasbourg, they want to know exactly who is coming here, they want the UK to negotiate its own trade deals and they want the EU membership fee to be spent on health services and education for their family. All that is left to convince them on is that UK jobs would largely be fine if the UK exited the EU. Getting the public to realise that a stagnant EU economy couldn’t afford to cut us off is the key that unlocks the possibility of the UK leaving the EU.
But is it the only key? By Saturday evening Eurosceptics could have received another massive boost to their cause, the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the new Labour leader. Corbyn is a Eurosceptic who has developed a huge following among the young and hopeful, the group least likely to vote to leave. It may not please the economically conservative but Corbyn could be a key figure in persuading this group of people to leave for they will listen to him. It would be a catastrophe for him to lead the out campaign but a strong presence alongside those with more economic credibility could do the out campaign a world of good. #Youth