Monday, 22 June 2015

The real reason purdah has uniquely been abandoned for the EU Referendum.

The 'for Britain' grouping are reformers. They don't want 'out' they want 'associate membership' that hasn't yet been publicly defined and can't be implemented in the time available before a referendum.

Matthew Elliott, leader of the 'for Britain' groupings, saw the 'Yes2AV' campaign fail because it was led by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) who were *against* AV, they wanted (and still want - the now obsolete) STV.

Matthew Elliott now wants to recreate this in the EUout campaign - by leading it to fail, by leading it as badly and half heartedly as ERS led Yes2AV.

Just before the referendum, if  the in campaign have not already clearly won, then the EU will offer 'associate membership' they will promise it as a 'vow' (as per the Scots independence 'vow' - the promise of Devo Max if scots voted 'in') and the reformers led by Elliott and 'for Britain' will switch from EUout to EUin - this is what they wanted all along (see

The reason purdah has uniquely been abandoned for this referendum is precisely so this last minute Damascene moment can be stage managed - in the last week or so this offer will be made and hugely publicised - and the UK public will be expected to vote 'in' in a promise (cast-iron no doubt). With (but this time) only UKIP still speaking up for out!


  1. In the second half of 2017 the UK will hold the presidency of the EU and thus get to write the communiques following every EU " summit" . It will thus be able to manipulate the EU's massive public relations machine as well,as HMG's.
    So, after a crisis meeting of the European Council in some historic British location, Dave will emerge from a marathon overnight session to,announce " Britain's New Deal in Europe" , an historic moment.
    My guess is that it will include declarations to be added to the treaties that the UK's commitment to," ever closer union" is abandoned and recognising that the unequivocal,statement that the euro is the currency of the EU does not apply to,the UK. There,will be some "legally binding" commitment that the next EU treaty ( in effect making the Eurozone into,one country). will confer some sort of associate status on the UK, thus formalising and making permanent the de facto position of the UK,from the start as a second class member, required to pay a first class subscription in an EU where the Eurozone countries will have a permanent majority. It won't say it that way, of course; the possession of the EU's spin machine will show "Britain triumphs in Europe". Incidentally, Matthew Elliot's " Historians for Britain" group has produced an excellent account of how Mr Wilson finagled a few pieces of regular EEC business and some very minor concessions to New Zealand butter into a "fundamental renegotiation" and " Britain's New Deal in Europe". So, we may hope for a more robust attitude - but I'm not holding my breath.

    1. Thanks for that Edward, more angles to take into account!

      You seem informed - would you consider doing a podcast? I have setup - and release about 8 hours content every friday midday(ish!)