Ask the right questions


As I write, I’m still not quite sure what the EU referendum question will be.  But “Do you agree that Britain should stay in the EU?” seems a likely option – with all the advantage of “positivity bias” accruing to the “IN” Campaign.  That’s wrong, but I suspect there’s little we can do about it.  Meantime, I’d like to suggest some alternative questions.

Do you believe that the UK has the right, and the ability, to govern itself as an independent, democratic nation?

Do you believe that our laws should be made by politicians that we have elected (and can dismiss), rather than by unaccountable foreign institutions?

Do you believe that Britain should control its borders, so that we can decide on how many immigrants we should admit, and what qualifications they should have?  Do you agree that immigration policy should not discriminate on grounds of nationality (as it does at the moment)?

Do you think that we should be free to remove from the UK foreign nationals who are here illegally, or who have committed serious offences, or are implicated in terrorism?

Do you think that we pay too much for energy?  Are you concerned that swathes of manufacturing industry are closing plants and moving investment and jobs off-shore because of high UK/EU energy prices?  Are you worried about the risks to security of supply as a result of current energy policies and plant closures?

Do you agree that the City of London with its vital financial services sector should be regulated within the UK, and not subject (for example) to the utterly destructive EU proposals for a Financial Transactions Tax?

Are you concerned that the EU’s Working Time Directive is creating mayhem in the NHS, driving up costs and preventing comprehensive training of junior doctors?  And that the Directive is doing similar damage across a range of industries including haulage and hospitality?

Do you agree that British farmers would be better off with a farm support mechanism designed for them in Britain, rather than a farm support mechanism designed in Brussels for French farmers?

Do you agree that we in Britain should be able to control our fisheries in internationally recognised UK waters, rather than regarding these fisheries as a “common EU resource” open to Spanish and other boats?

Are you aware that widely accepted estimates for the total costs of Britain’s EU membership amount to an eye-watering 10 to 11% of GDP?

Did you know that it’s possible to trade with the EU without being a member, and that the three largest exporters to the EU (Russia, China, the USA) have no preferential trade deals with the EU at all?  Are you aware that on leaving the EU, Britain will certainly have a free trade arrangement with the EU and that UK/EU trade (and the jobs dependent on it) will continue?

Are you proud of the fact that Britain is one of the most globally networked and connected countries in the world (UN Security Council; NATO; World Bank; OECD; OSCE; G7; G20; Commonwealth – and after Brexit, resuming our full place on the WTO), and cannot become “isolated and marginalised”?

If you’re answering “Yes” to these questions, you’ll want to answer “NO” in the referendum.

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34 Responses to Ask the right questions

  1. Flyinthesky says:

    Roger, I think your first two alternatives cover nearly all bases and if the question was framed in such a manner almost everyone would support leaving.
    The problem is a greater percentage of the population don’t know what the eu is, they, in the main, see it as a benign entity working for the common good of the European people.
    It’s going to be a monumental task to get people to realise what it is, what it has done to us and what it’s intentions are. All at the same time neutralising the inevitable prophecies of doom fielded by the Europhiles.
    At this moment I’m not optimistic.

    • Flyinthesky says:

      That’s us sorted Brin, what about the rest? Until people can see the problems they are not going to address them. The eu has done a fine job implementing it’s malign intentions so slowly so the majority haven’t noticed.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        As an oldie I have seen it unfolding in horror. Anyone who I talk to has few doubts left. I can point to many items from the past in my house and we made them. An industrial revolution takes time, how have matters changed so quickly? Where did the Bowl of rice economy get the massive investments for China to rise so quickly. Internationalism is driven by lies, deceit and extortion and we don’t know the half of it.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Over the last three years UK taxpayers have had £660.9 million stolen from them by Cameron and this money has been given to China, the second largest economy in the world!

  2. davidbuckingham says:


  3. Richard111 says:

    And it appears the EU has bribed the BBC. Not that it needed bribing.

  4. Whenever I look at the comments on blogs like this, always every comment is against staying in the EU.
    Whenever I listen to the BBC/ITV or the radio, or read a paper, the comments are, of course, all Eurosceptic – but they support negotiation like the Conservatives.
    The Labour Blogs never mention the EU.

    • ian wragg says:

      Mike, we have to translate this into NO votes. The good point I think is that we so called Eurosceptics are more likely to get off our fat arses and vote.
      A big apathy contingent would be very helpful.

    • Flyinthesky says:

      All the blogs are horses for courses Mike. They are usually encampments of like minded people. On the out side there is around a circa 95% in favour of leaving on the relative blogs.
      If you go to the Guardian et al comment sites you find the percentage is c80% on staying.
      That’s understandable because Guardian readers are in the main fluffyworld idealists. To them they only see the concept not the reality. Even I concede that the concept of a European union looks good on paper but it has irresistibly exceeded it’s remit by 90% and it’s proponents are unemployable in any other area. They will lie, cheat and go to the ends of the earth to defend those comfy chairs.
      Most of us who have given the situation some consideration know full well that the renegotiation meme proposed by Cameron is a non starter but the no risk status quo position is going to take some shifting. We are going to be fielding awkward and inconvenient truths against palatable and placating lies.
      There are some players in the game that have resigned themselves to this referendum being a trial run for the next one, my contention is in another decade there will be nothing left to salvage and the entire situation will become normalised and unassailable.
      This is a once and last chance, if all the factions don’t combine and present a united front with a clear message, trust me, we’re not going anywhere.
      Some people need detail, some people need slogans and some people need a charismatic leader, to stand any chance at all we need to appeal and convince all these factions.

  5. Ian Terry says:

    Comments about people do not really understand about the EU are so true. The French and the Germans are in a cosy little huddle about applying extra taxes to the UK if reports in the papers are to be believed. The EU is a little bit like a FIFA only the chosen few really knowing what is going on and what they are trying to achieve at the expense of all of us.

    One only has to drive any distance in this country and take notice of all the BMWs, Audi, VW and Mercs that are on our roads and that does not include the Mini. It is a good game to play with the kids to keep them amused. At one stage on the M6 I was totally surrounded by German cars. Further proof that as with a lot of EU policies they do tend to be all one way. Their way.

    If we leave and please God we do, I cannot see the Germans wanting to punish us too hard because they would leave themselves open to bigger import duties and the same goes for all the other vehicle importers.

    Our industries could open up new markets and prosper no doubt about it.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Think of the piles of spares they need…brake discs, pads, shoes, calipers, windscreen wipers, filters, batteries, bulbs and on and on. Parts for washing/cleaning equipment. Bosch/Ford/Karcher to name a few and very, very expensive.
      My BMW needed wipers some years ago, so went to BMW local. Rather expensive I thought…made in Belgium on the box. So I said, I thought they where german – the stores guy said..China you will often find. So why do we need the likes of the EU to play that game?

      I often buy from China direct these days…couple of weeks delay but? UK business can easily do I used to for 8yrs with my GPS business – manufacture my design. You just have the UK Gov hand in your till on import along with Parcelforce of course! Just to reduce your competitiveness a little.

  6. Joe CUMMINS says:

    Why is there so much unemployment in the other EU countries that they feel forced to come here and take our jobs? Even illegally?
    Why do we pay them to do so?

  7. Brin Jenkins says:

    On the Beeb radio this morning a learned German Prof explains how our exit would be disastrous for both Germany and Britain, this will not be allowed,and there must be no changes agreed. WHAT!

    This is way beyond their practice of bagging Sun loungers with beach towels.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      I heard it too Brin…never heard of the bloke before, naturally. Was he something like the German CBI ?

      If a professor I largely ignore them and that once respected title is perhaps less than Mr/Mrs/Ms in my view. The BBC brings them on by the truck load.

      Usual BBC bias, only this time anti BREXIT

    • Flyinthesky says:

      The unsaid reality here is the loss of our contribution would be catastrophic for Germany and France for that matter, they would be left as the prime funders of this gigantic socialist wet dream.
      Neither France or Germany want our input they just want the continuance of our contribution but the greatest threat of all is the possibility of our success outside the union.
      That to me is the greatest danger of leaving, spiteful sanctions and obstructions. I don’t know if the Germans would play that game but the French would.

  8. Anne says:

    As one that was bombed out of House and Home in that last War when Germany wanted to destroy this Country and then dominate us or Govern us FOREVER , I see absolutely no point at all in allowing ANY foreigner governing us, and certainly not to actually PAY THEM to do so. We betray ALL THOSE THAT GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR OUR FREEDOM, BY DOING SO.

    If those on the continent want to remain in the present EU-so be it-but all in these Island Nations have to be FREE from foreign rule-FOREVER. As for PAYING them to do so-Well you know the answer to that TOO. Oh, how I wish we had a Chuchillian person LEADING US once more. Someone that loves their country enough to actually Govern it according to its very own Common Law Constitution rather than pay foreigners to do so.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      My mother and her mother were bombed out in Plumstead (London) and mum nearly got it at the Arsenal. Did not go to the loo at the prescribed time with the rest of the girls as usual…nearly all dead.
      Shouldn’t think that’ll happen again unless the fools in the EU goad Russia far enough. And that might be a very short bombing?

      I don’t understand why this Union is so intensely necessary. To me its like saying/showing that you are incompetent at managing your country….ah well?

      There is nobody amongst the damp rags that exist here currently I reckon. The only one who may have moved us in the right direction has been rejected, largely by a small number of dumb tories. So now we have to listen to Salmond and the hairies!

      Interesting that Carswell got threatened in London along with Harry Cole (G. Fawkes).

      • Jane Davies says:

        My family also lost their house to German bombs in London and if my Mum had not grabbed my sister out of her cot and dashed under the stairs with her both would have been killed and I wouldn’t be here. My Dad was away serving in the RAF. Although I am too young to have experienced that horror, being born after the war was over, the after effects of losing everything were felt for years. Both my parents lived into their nineties but I’m glad they are not around to witness how Germany is now dictating the lives of the British. Yes Anne we need another Churchill, this weak lily livered lot who “run” the country are a bad joke.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        The think we have to accept is the left position is a religious belief structure and there’s no reasoning with it. The think that raises a wry smile with me is the labour party has done more to crap on it’s own core support base than any other party and there is some strong competition. Yet still they support it! None of them seem to be able to evaluate, they’re totally emotive driven.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        Jane…there is a series of programs running here at the moment. And dare say its the BBC doing something right? Sort of.

        Its about the removal of what was termed by some as slums in London and some/allied bombed bits. So far on the South side. Its very interesting, but highlights once again the fanatical odd bod who drove destruction of some of old London through. Ok..progress I suppose, but not that you would easily admire. Some has been saved. I am talking about whole streets.

        So expecting anybody to have an even hand on any tiller…is not going to happen. The experience and knowledge so easily observed is only too shallow. Pity that, because when I was young in the 50/60’s I thought it all could only get better.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Little did we know that the fifties and sixties WERE the best times!!

  9. Anne says:

    It has come to be (Observations!)

    No planes on our Aircraft Carriers,
    No tanks for our Desert Rats,
    Paratroopers without parachutes
    Sadly, This is where we are at.
    Massive cuts in our armed services
    And some Sailors with no ships.
    Are our submarines now submerged?
    Or have they now been blown to bits?

    A Cavalry without their horses
    They were eaten by mistake
    For greedy men took advantage
    For more money they had to make.
    All of this is written and recorded
    For this is what has come to be
    Weak men in a British Government,
    Yet the people will (MUST) fight to be free.

  10. Brin Jenkins says:

    For the greater part of the War Mum , my sister and I lived with grand parents in Bootle. We moved to Leyburn to escape the worst of the blitz and the house was destroyed. We lived with them again in a replacement rented house until peace was declared. My other grand parents were also bombed losing their home, and Dinky my first cat. Why on earth did we ever fight this war?

  11. Ex-expat Colin says:

    And the Luftwaffe were not so happy with straight bombing either. They often strafed the streets of Bristol etc. and behind my mothers parents house in London was a primary school. So they circled that and gunned down children in the playground. I hope their lives were made miserable knowing what they did.

    They were flying low, following railway lines out of Birmingham to near where I live now seeking our dispersed manufacturing and storage in the W. Mids. These flying crews were not airmen, they were murderers. So, to condemn Bomber Harris for something he had no choice about…is simply the sign of follow on murderers.

  12. Anne says:

    As I understand it, if we do not get out of the EU soon, and leave it too late, ALL THE OTHER COUNTRY’S WILL HAVE A SAY ON WHETHER TO LET US GO. IS THAT TRUE ROGER? “Withdrawal of a member state – Lisbon: QMV”

  13. Derek says:

    Those questions in the post would make a great leaflet to put out to the public.

  14. Anne says:

    People my age Roger went through that terrible WAR to prevent foreigners Goiverning us. Yet WE PAY FOREIGNERS to Govern us. WHY? What is the point in having ANYONE in those two Houses of Parliamnet when even THEY have to obey foreigners?
    When I read of “The EU’s naval operation”, “The European Union Air Force,” EUMC, EUNAVFOR, I wonder where all this may lead us?

  15. Brin Jenkins says:

    We, of course have some idea Anne, the New World Order has been a long time in formulation but now we can see the strands being brought together. To deny this one needs to be blind deaf and thick.

  16. Catalpa says:

    Roger, I agree with Derek (May 30, 8.17pm) – they would make a great leaflet.
    The europhiles have already started campaigning for IN. When are we going to start campaigning for OUT? Don’t wait for the outcome of the ‘renegotiation’, don’t wait for an OUT group to be formed with some unknown as a leader – we need to start now!

  17. Anne says:


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