Great British Public have been waiting 40 years for a free and fair referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. Ever since David Cameron’s Bloomberg speech announcing an In/Out referendum before the end of 2017, Eurosceptics have been concerned the Prime Minister would do all he could to swing the vote his way, by fair means or foul.
Now he is reported to be planning to use British taxpayers’ money to force his own agenda on British voters. He must not be allowed to do so.
If you haven’t heard the news already, Cameron plans to send out a biased pro-EU dossier to every single British family before the referendum. This was disclosed by Mats Persson, a No 10 adviser and former boss of Open Europe in a briefing to senior Conservatives last month.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Downing Street is planning to issue the document explaining to the British public, “the changes, the benefits of the changes to Britain, and why therefore we need to stay in the EU.”
This is like state-funded propaganda we usually see coming from undemocratic, authoritarian regimes.
The Government should be making sure the public are made aware of both sides of the argument, so everyone can make a balanced and free choice. This should be done in a fair, transparent and responsible way. It’s no wonder the public do not trust politicians.
Whether we like to admit it or not, British voters are the least informed of the electorate of all EU Member States when it comes to the subject of the EU. A one-sided, government-funded, biased document will attempt to ‘con’ voters who are not fully informed.
We already know Cameron supports the Remain campaign, as does George Osborne. The polls so far seem to show the result of the referendum could be close, so now it seems Cameron is desperate. A tiny swing either way could mean a victory. However, using voters’ money to swing the final result Cameron’s way is not democratically acceptable.
When the time comes, the Prime Minister must truthfully set out the results of his Merkel-acceptable renegotiations, and allow the public to decide whether they are good enough, or not — as is looking more and more likely.
MPs must be allowed to stand up for what they believe in, and not act as drones controlled by the Conservative or Labour Party hierarchy. Cabinet ministers must be allowed to speak out without the threat of losing their ministerial jobs or not being considered for promotion in the future.
Brave MPs on both sides of the house have already come out against the European Union, and are facing the wrath of their party leaders. This should not be the case.
MPs must not be afraid of doing what they are elected and paid to do — stand up for the public.
It is vital we applaud those who voice their opinions against the wishes of their leadership. At the weekend, Dr Liam Fox, Conservative MP for North Somerset, was the latest MP to shake his fist at Cameron and publicly come out in support of the Leave campaign.
This should set a good example to all those Cabinet ministers currently sitting on the fence. We expect many more will join Dr Fox in the coming months, with rumours of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan-Smith and even Theresa May waiting to announce their support for Brexit.
The referendum we have all been waiting for since 1975 could be as little as 6 months away. The public need to know both sides of the argument, not be spoon fed lies and myths by Cameron and his ‘spin’ team.
We cannot let Conman Dave unfairly influence the result of the referendum with our money. If he does send out biased misinformation, the Leave campaign will shout out even louder with the facts.
We are sure, by revealing the truth about the EU, that the majority of the electorate will vote to Get Britain Out.
Rob Comley is a researcher for the cross-party grassroots Eurosceptic campaign group Get Britain Out