Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Parliament against the People!

Sign Our Petition

THE VAST GULF between Parliament and the people was brought into sharp focus recently. For on Monday, both members of the Con-Dem Government and the Labour-led Opposition voted against allowing the British people a vote in a referendum on the EU.

483 MPs voted against allowing a referendum, whilst 111 voted for – a majority of 372. To ensure that the motion was defeated the Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour Parties instructed their MPs on how to vote. As can be seen by the vote, just over 100 MPs had the backbone to vote according to their conscience.

Those that voted against a referendum voted against democracy!

According to most opinion polls, the vast majority of Britons favour a referendum and most would vote for withdrawal, which many suggest is the reason why the Government opposes one! According to the Guardian (of 24/10/2011):

“Forty-nine per cent would vote to get Britain out of Europe, against just 40% who prefer to stay in.” (1)

This of course does not tell the whole story since the Referendum vote offered was not just an vote on staying in or out of the EU but a vote after a possible renegotiation.

The National Liberal Party is Eurosceptic because we believe in nation-states and would actually decentralise power down from Westminster rather than centralise it up to the EU (or anyone). We do however believe in a ‘third alternative’ to a simple IN or OUT voting choice i.e. that of a fundamental reform of the EU. Whilst this has not been an option up to now due to Europhile intransigence, there may be a window of opportunity to create a new, even ‘special’, relationship with the EU Eurozone. The upshot of the Eurozone’s frantic efforts to save the Euro is predicted to lead to further integration e.g. centralisation of their finances/budgets and thus move them further away from the others in the EU (but outside the zone). If a satisfactory reform was brokered e.g. back to a largely trading relationship it could be put to the electorate along with withdrawal and the status-quo. If there was no meaningful reform it would simply be a choice between the latter two and we would vote NO.

Whatever the questions asked however all polls show support some form of referendum. The same Guardian poll also said that:

“Some 70% of voters want a vote on Britain’s EU membership.”

This means that less than 400 MPs can oppose the views of 70% of the people! So much for Parliamentary democracy and Westminster representing the will of the people!

This absurd position reinforces the National Liberal Party’s view that all major decisions should be made via national referendums. If you support this idea – of true democracy and true representation – why not sign our petition? You can find it here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/consult-the-people.html

(1) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/24/eu-referendum-poll-uk-withdrawal?newsfeed=true

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