To a posting on Open Europe on Cameron, UKIP and the EU, linked here
, comes this comment, full of her characteristic good sense, from Christina Speight:
I realise that Open Europe does not go along with any idea that Britain should lay down a clear policy of withdrawal altogether
I remain unimpressed by the simplistic UKIP approach that all that is necessary is to get out! There is a mass of detail before we reach that goal. I'm with those who have that goal in mind but the devil's in the detail. We loosely talk of the Swiss model and it is an attractive one.
But twixt here and there is a great gulf of licensing agreements, tax deals, international trade pacts, criminal legal arrangements, and a host of other relationships which would have to be unpicked and reassembled from an independent standpoint by someone who is committed - ie no LibDems!.
It's not as simple as UKIP pretends. Their aim is fine but I'd hate to see negotiations in their unskilled hands.
And there's a word of caution on any referendum! The opinion polls on referenda in advance are hideously unreliable. It's only when the chips are down that opinion hardens. My gut feeling is that we could win an IN-OUT refeerndum now but it';s far from a 'done deal'.. Industry is scared of "letting go of nurse' and frankly UKIPs rhetoric scares them more. They could come down heavily in favour of staying IN and that could be decisive. People would be scared for their jobs. If that were to happen we'd be locked in for a very long time.
Jingoism is great fun but no substitute for a carefully crafted and detailed policy. That's why many comments on ConHome for example scare me.
Labels: Christina Speight, UKIP