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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, January 24, 2005

Running Scared ?

It seems that Mr Blair is not content to just have the referendum long after most countries have made up their minds. He is planning to leave the parliamentary debate as late as possible.
The new European constitution is not expected to be endorsed by parliament until early next year in a new signal that Tony Blair wants to delay confronting public scepticism.
Someone should tell him that there is a limit to how long it can be delayed. Seeing as the momentum of public opinion seems to be on the no side, one wonders what the delay is for. I know he doesn’t want to scare the public before a general election and I understand that he does not want problems while he is the symbolic head of the EU, but things can only get worse. This whole episode reminds me of the dieing days of the Major Government. Knowing that they were trailing in the polls, the delayed the election till the last minute, waiting for a miracle. The outcome was a huge Labour landslide, the results of which the Tories have still not recovered from. Arguably an earlier election could have reduced the labour majority making the Tory comeback easier. Likewise, with the Eurosceptic side already out and running, with the public siding with the sceptics and with every passing day, some new scandal, bad news, or as the Europhiles say, Euromyths, surfacing in the news, delaying matters will only make things worse for the government. In spite of this they hold on to this fantasy:
Lucy Powell, campaign director of Britain in Europe, which is in favour of the treaty, welcomed the opportunity to dispel eurosceptic myths before the referendum campaign began. “In terms of winning the referendum, the main problem is there's almost complete ignorance and lack of awareness of the issues,” she said.
No Lucy wake up. The problem for you is that beyond a vague wish to promote business between the UK and Europe, the vast majority of Brits do not buy into your EUtopia. If you don’t believe the dream, then no amount of “awareness of the issues” will ever be persuasive. At the end of the day, most people are still unaware of how little power remains in Westminster and how much has already gone to Brussels. Any real awareness campaign will make the electorate more uneasy with the EU not less. Delays give us more chance to get our messages across. So in my humble opinion, the longer the delay the greater our winning margin will be.

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