Conversations (3)


I find little to argue with you about other than your comment about an "ill-conceived referendum".

On constitutional matters, however, I would argue that the people should have their say. And the entry of the UK into the then 'Common Market' was carried out on the understanding that there would be no transfer of sovereignty. As this proved not to be the case, then surely the people - and I write as one who was too young to have a say on the matter in the 1970s - should have a say.

I think that the referendum was essential. Or do you you believe that the political elites know better than the people?
Theresa May's decision to call a snap election has unsettled the UK political establishment - the opposition parties appear confused and rather lost about the position they find themselves in.

But despite the somewhat dismissive rhetoric, the European Commission must surely realise that a Conservative landslide victory in the UK would send out a strong message to the political elites in the other 27 member states that Euroscepticism wins votes, and the question of 'withdrawal' is no longer a subject confined to the political fringes, as it was in the UK until very recently.

The times they are a'changing...

Thank you Martin. We believe the municipal, mayoral and devolved assembly elections will have very little impact on the EU referendum debate, as well as being a poor indicator of how people will vote in the referendum. This is because people will vote in these elections based on local issues, with EU membership being outside the competence of those elected. However, this is a fine display of democracy in action, with the people of this country voting for those who govern them. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the European Union, with executive power vested in 28 unelected EU Commissioners. 

Boris Johnson is a welcome addition to the Brexit campaign, he is extremely popular throughout the country, and is certain to engage voters who may not otherwise vote, as he did when running for London Mayor. This displays the widespread appeal of Brexit, with people from all types of backgrounds supporting democracy by urging the country to leave the EU.

Thank you Denis MacShane, a former Europe Minister in the UK, and Matthew Ellery, of Get Britain Out campaign group, for taking part in the debate today. The municipal and mayoral elections in the UK today are seen as a key acid test for the referendum on 23 June on Britain's membership of the EU. 

How important do you regard these municipal and mayoral elections (plus those to the Scottish Assembly)  today and what impact might the results have on the outcome of the In/Out referendum on 23 June? What might the outcome tell us about the likely result in the referendum?

Also, what impact has the intervention by Boris Johnson, the current mayor of London, had on the referendum campaign? Has his intervention been helpful or detrimental to the case for Brexit?

Lord Bramall is right. Try as it might, Britain has never been able to isolate itself from mainland Europe when there's a fight going on there.

The balance of power in Europe still matters very much to British interests, and the European Union is the best way ever devised of managing that process. An EU without Britain would be less capable internally of keeping equilibrium - as well as much less forceful in squaring up to the ever-present external threats.   

I would argue the refugee crisis has been exacerbated by EU policies. Schengen has undoubtedly been a huge pull factor as we have even seen the most liberal nations such as Sweden and Denmark put in temporary measures to shore up their own border controls. The trouble with a pan-European bloc is that it allows 28 Member States to pass the blame onto others.


I don’t think many would recognise the notion of anti-American Eurosceptics. A key factor is that Britain’s outlook does not fit in well with the continental view, do not forget Charles de Gaulle refused Britain entry into the EEC in 1963 and 1967.