To divorce ourselves from the EU will prove to be an illusion

As we’re about to try to divorce ourselves from the EU, take a close look at this picture and think about the history behind it. This year in France is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, Germany’s attempt to “bleed France white” and crush her fighting spirit. Britain, her ally, launched the Somme offensive on 1 July 1916 partly to try to take the pressure off Verdun, and … Read more

The murder of Jo Cox is a wake-up call for our political culture

The MP Jo Cox was by all accounts one who was very kind, devoted and compassionate, the epitome of the conscientious MP that is a model of an elected public servant. And she happened to support Remain. Yet on Thursday she was murdered while going about her constituency business. The main suspect seems to have had far-right leanings, although this has yet to be proved. This tells us something very … Read more

The truth about immigration is that Brexit or no it will continue

People want facts rather than “politicians’ lies”, they say. Well, here are some facts. Immigration is probably the one big issue fuelling the Leave lead in the polls. Well, the statistics show that more immigration comes from outside the EU than inside, and the former tend to stay, while the latter much less so. It is said that being an EU member means we have to accept the free movement … Read more

Has the UK lost sovereignty to the EU or has it gained power?

The Leave campaign say that their aim is to regain sovereignty from “Brussels”, to “take back control”. It’s a potent message to a voting population that feels remote from Westminster, disempowered and dispossessed. The sense of the loss of sovereignty seems starkly clear when people seem unable to limit changes that seem to flow from a remote institution that seems to lack accountability. Yet what is the strength of this … Read more

Is Brexit to take back control or a revolt against change?

The central Leave aim in the EU referendum is to “take back control over our country”, a powerful, emotional appeal to the dispossessed and disempowered. The Remain warnings fall on deaf ears and the Leave cause now leads in the polls. Despite Cameron’s best efforts Gove and Johnson look likely to triumph. Reasonable, liberal, mild-mannered, educated people ask, “What’s going on? How can this be?” The campaign has all the … Read more

Why is Brexit seen as a threat to the UK economy?

The core message of the Remain campaign is that Brexit will wreck the UK economy. Leave say this is Project Fear, and yet struggle to come up with a convincing alternative to the status quo. This is an age when many people are disengaged from politics and sceptical of competing claims. So who is right and who do we believe, those of us who are undecided and don’t easily get … Read more

The EU referendum and opinion polls: “It’s the economy, stupid”

To add to the uncertainty, it seems that 30% of people haven’t yet made up their mind which way to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum. Given that polling has shown that the result is on a knife-edge, it still leaves both sides with everything to play for. It is worth bearing in mind that research has shown that 80% of referendums tend to favour the status quo. People tend … Read more

Let’s not forget why we need european unity

Let’s not forget what Europe was like within living memory, full of bloody conflict, as it had been for hundreds of years. Brexiteers wanting to pull the UK out of the EU do so in the face of a very troubled history which has involved the UK more often than many realise, whereas under european unity we have had 71 years of peace. This photo shows the place where six … Read more