Fisking a government response

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Supporter Ann Sheridan writes about a government reply to an EU referendum petition she signed recently:

Several weeks ago I signed an HMG e-Petition on a referendum regarding our relationship with the EU. Recently I received a response as more than 10000 people signed the petition. Needless to say the response was the usual vacuous civil service speak, but it is worth fisking for two reasons; first that it demonstrates how far the political class has strayed from the reality experienced by most of our citizens; and second that it reveals how deeply myths of EU membership have become embedded in our political culture.

It begins, “The Government believes that membership of the EU is in the national interest of the UK. It is central to how we create jobs, expand trade and protect our interests around the world.” First note that assertion is not argument and secondly consider that it completely ignores the fact that exports to the EU are falling whilst exports to the rest of the world are rising. See Dan Hannan’s excellent blog post in the Telegraph.

It goes on: “The crisis in the Eurozone has intensified the debate in every country on the future of Europe and there is no exception here. Europe is changing, and we do not know what the EU will end up looking like at the end of this crisis.” There is no humility in the European political class. No acknowledgement of the straightjacket being imposed on European economies and societies on the march to ever closer union. There must be no turning back lest the success of the European project appear less than inevitable. This is a vision which should horrify anyone schooled in the empiricist British political tradition of minor incremental change. A declining continent is dragging us along a route on which none of us has voted and which I believe is inimical to the interests and traditions of our country and its people.

The final point I wish to extract from he response is this: “As the Prime Minister has said, this Government believes that a choice between the status quo within the EU or leaving completely is the wrong question.” Obviously, I believe it is the right question, but to even suggest that we there is another question is disingenuous. There is no choice on offer from Europe for disengagement. This was made clear by this article.

We are facing a stark choice, we press for an in out referendum or we end up being tied to a continent in decline with a failed and failing political system; for me that is no choice at all. We must have that referendum and must do everything in our power to pressurise the government into giving us it.

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