Referendum update

The Tory infighting appears to be getting much more bitter. The leave camp complaint about “petty smears from the rest of the party briefing against them. That’s probably a reference to Nigel Heseltine’s intervention, who questioned Boris Johnson’s judgement over his decision to back the leave campaign.

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And the vote leave camp are fuming about Cameron choosing to debate Farage instead of one of them. After all, the whole point of this referendum is to make Boris Johnson PM, isn’t it? In response they’ve released an attack add questioning Cameron’s judgement. Even a minor spat about curry quickly went nuclear.

Cameron also had to put down a minor rebellion by Euroskeptics. They had united with Corbyn’s labour to push through a bill excluding the NHS from the upcoming EU-US TTIP treaty. He’s had to go along with that for the sake of happy families. Now while I happen to think this is a good idea, and it also shows that the UK has a lot more flexibility within the EU than the leave camp would have us believe. But many of the Tory party want NHS privatisation. Yet some of these swivel eyed loons in the Brexit camp are so dead set against anything EU that they will cross the chamber and back Corbyn. They will literally cut off their noses to spite their face.

And should Cameron think this referendum will settle things, think again. Much as I predicted a year or two ago, Farage has already indicated that he’ll be seeking a 2nd EU referendum soon afterwards if the result doesn’t go the way he wants. In short, there’s a strong chance post-referendum of the Tory party (and possibly the labour party too) imploding, with many defectors to UKIP.

Meanwhile Gove has been trying to claim that 5 million were camping out at Calais waiting to come in if the UK votes remain. In fairness this is an improvement on Farage’s claim of 38 million Romanians (more than the entire population of Romania!). Also the main driver of population growth in the UK is still demographic changes (read people living longer and have more children) not immigration (and the majority of migrants come from outside the EU). So unless Gove is arguing we should introduce a one child policy, or start euthanasia of old people at 80, leaving the EU won’t really help.

Also the leave camp have been trying to counter all the negative economic projections by wheeling out business leaders of their own. Trouble is, some journalists went through the list and worked out that many of these pro-Brexiters bosses were tax avoidance experts or retired.

In other news some 250 celeb’s have come out in favour of staying in the EU. Of course this is hardly a surprise, I mean if it wasn’t for multicultural Britain most of them won’t have a job. They aren’t exactly a lot of jobs for entertainers in parts of Europe under far right control at the moment. But certainly they highlight the important contribution the EU has made to British culture recently.

Bared from voting

I’ve long opposed the idea of an EU referendum largely because I feared it won’t be a fair fight. Inevitably the leave camp will engage in a campaign based on lies and BS, while playing the race card. It’s like agreeing to play poker with the devil for your soul, you know he’s going to cheat, so its not a fair contest.

However, what’s worse is that polls have suggested that up to 200,000 students will miss out on voting. Which is not really surprising, it is the summer many will be at home or working off their student debt. Cameron, did know what students do over the summer, or was he assuming they’d all get in the back of the roller and let Jeeves run them down to the polling station? Or perhaps borrow daddy’s copper?

Young people are far more likely to vote stay than vote to leave the EU. So large number of students not voting could easily swing the result. And this is on the back of the fact that 3 million EU citizens resident (and often married to a brit) will be barred from voting in this referendum. As indeed will many British ex-pats living in Europe are also barred from voting. And again, we are not talking small number, up to one or two million in fact. Oddly enough though commonwealth citizens from Australia or Malaysia, in many cases CAN vote in the EU referendum.

Quite clearly euroskeptics within the Tory party have managed to stack the deck in favour of a leave vote, meaning that there is a stronger possibility of a leave vote than I think many realise. And the worst case scenario is really a vote to leave by a very narrow margin on a low turnout.

That will almost certainly provoke legal challenges. Indeed just one such legal challenge is underway as we speak. Obviously in the event of an actual leave vote, many of those who will be effected will file further suits. And they will be able to show to a court how they will suffer real and genuine economic harm, or face discrimination as a result of Brexit. And corporations in the firing line will be able to hire lots of expensive lawyers and bury the process in red tape. Obviously this rules out a quick quiet and easy exit from the EU, suggesting a long drawn out and generally messy divorce.

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