EU Referendum: Cameron And Farage Live
Prime Minister David Cameron and MEP Nigel Farage both made their individual cases for a ‘remain’ or ‘out’ respectively for the upcoming European Referendum in a live television ‘debate’ last night.
I say ‘debate’ as both men never shared the stage or traded questions.
Given the way in which Britain’s membership to the European Union informs immigration policy, and how that in turn could effect the movement of Jihadists within Europe, I’ve often been asked which way I will be voting on June 23rd.
The truth is, I’m not entirely sure what to think. I like the idea of a sovereign nation controlling its own borders, making its own decisions – yet I’m so woefully uninformed on the subject of the economy that I can’t begin to decipher the consequences of leaving the EU from that perspective.
I have two major issues with the way this whole debate is playing out publicly. The first is that it has almost exclusively been focussed around the issue of immigration and secondly, mainstream Britain appears incapable of having a sensible discussion on that topic.
Any anti-mass/immigration viewpoint can find you shouted down as a ‘racist’ by a subset of the left. This is unhelpful of course. And this is exactly what happened to Nigel Farage during this live ‘debate’ last night.
In true fashion, these accusations were shouted over his attempt to rebut a question which implied he was a racist to begin with. I believe this is known as Aflecking.
You may recall Richard Dawkins had this to say on the referendum a while back:
‘Tory promised referendum on Europe is DEEPLY irresponsible. Absurd to trust the UK public to weigh up such a serious, complex economic issue’
‘I’m not qualified to vote on leaving the EU. Nor are you unless you’ve made a full study of the issues. We are qualified to vote for an MP.’
This may seem patronising, but I’m finding myself more and more in agreement with the sentiment as the 23rd looms closer.
Well, as it stands at the moment, I’m leaning towards ‘remain’. This, admittedly is partly motivated by the fear of the unknown. It seems to me, that if you’re unsure, the smart move would be to remain, rather than take such a huge gamble.
Also, because David Cameron made some positive noises on a political annoyance of mine last night that may have swung an ‘out’ decision had it gone unchecked. That is Britain’s inability to deport foreign criminals and extremists to the countries of their origin in a timely fashion.
Britain, due to it’s membership of the EU has struggled with this for some time to our embarrassment. Recall the case of Abu Hamza for instance.
David Cameron assured viewers that new, upcoming legislation within the EU framework would solve this problem and allow Britain the power to deport those it deems necessary to deport. It’s worth noting that Cameron made this pledge on the day it was reported that 50 foreign criminals were able to remain in the UK due to Brussels ‘red tape’. I suppose a lot also rests on whether you trust Cameron to keep his promise.
The final vote takes place on the 23rd of June, and it’s possible I may even change my mind several times before then – such is the misinformation on both sides. At this point, I almost feel like tossing a coin. Euro or pound though?
This is one of the most important decisions Britain could make, I don’t intend to shirk my voting responsibility – I just fear the misinformation and hot air surrounding this debate makes it impossible to be sufficiently informed.
I ran two Twitter polls on the EU – one before and one after the debate to gauge the views of my audience. These are entirely unscientific and have different sample sizes, but I thought they may have been of interest anyway. Here’s the pre-debate poll:
And here’s how the votes looked after the debate:
Despite the change in sample size, it appears there wasn’t much shift in opinion. My audience seem overwhelmingly in favour of ‘out’. However, it’s impossible to know how many casting their vote actually reside in Britain, or will actually bother to vote if they do. I guess we shall wait and see what June 23rd brings us.
Please use the comments section to make your best argument for whatever you think is the best choice in this referendum. Feel free to include links to information for me and others who are still uncertain of the best course of action.