SO THE hares are now running. The broadcasters are now seen and heard frothing at the mouth discussing David Cameron’s proposed (2018) “in/out” referendum.
That is, provided the Tories win the 2015 General Election and can successfully chivvy the EU into serious and significant reforms which see a reduction in unnecessary (who decides?) EU “regulation”. Most of us prefer the term (EU) “bureaucracy”, which is not a word likely to appear in any bureaucracy’s PR lexicon.
What happens if the EU does not, or cannot, deliver the reforms a great many Brits think essential? Where is Cameron’s contingency in his promised referendum covering this outcome?
Will the UK be left to grin and bear it? Or will a future, all-Tory administration, which may or may not still include Scotland in its remit, simply commence EU withdrawal negotiations without further reference to the electorate? Will we be at risk of seeing the UK withdrawing while, possibly, an independent Scotland strives to get past the Maastricht barriers to EU entry?
We deserve to be told. This all surely needs to be clarified, well ahead of the 2015 election.
Nick Blitz, South Lane, Haxby, York.
• IN THE wake of the Prime Minister’s latest attempt to keep his divided party together, I finally understand the UKIP/right-wing Tory dream and have a proposal of my own.
The British can be champions at every single sport if only we stand up and say no to all those pesky meddling foreigners.
At the Rio Olympics, while the rest of the world runs their pointless metric races, we will run on our own separate British running tracks. While they are still running the 100 metres, we will have finished our 100 glorious and imperial yards.
While their weightlifters struggle with 200 bureaucratic kilos, we will stand proudly with 201 pounds high above our heads. No more standing in line with other lesser nations. No more red tape, only the winning tape, masters of all we survey.
Right-wing nationalist cheers will ring out as we throw our bowler hats in the air and clutch our special gold medals, triumphant, happy and… alone.
Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.
• AT ONE fell swoop, the Prime Minister’s speech writers have moved to win the next election with a long-awaited promise of a referendum on in/out of the European Union.
It may be a long time to the next election, but this throws the first punch.
This has pulled the rug from under Ukip, which could bring back many of the right-wing Tory voters who joined Ukip for such a referendum. This should also shut up the Tory backbenchers who have been a thorn in the Prime Minister’s side over Europe.
This also puts blue water between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats before the next election, leaving them outside the popular vote which is for leaving the EU without discussion.
Labour cannot beat this promise and their approach to the next election must give a plausible answer to the challenge now presented.
Mr Cameron does not wish to leave the EU so this is just an election ploy which could go wrong if the negative publicity in our press changed to a positive and honest appraisal of the EU, but that could be too much to hope for.
One must congratulate the Prime Minister or his advisors on this change of tack.
Dennis Barton, Woodthorpe, York.