This just went up on the the Capx site, written by Bill Emmott (he of ‘Great European Disaster Movie’ fame): http://www.capx.co/bill-emmotts-10-point-plan-to-keep-the-uk-in-the-eu/
And this what it should tell the Out camp.
First from the preamble:
“So if the pro-EU camp – in which it is presumed that David Cameron sits – is to prevent that clock from becoming a time-bomb it had better start getting its message out now. But first it needs to get its message straight. In other words, it needs to do a lot better than Nick Clegg did in his disastrous broadcast debates with Nigel Farage in spring 2014.”
Learning: Outers too have to start geting the message out now. And we need to get the message straight. Ours is the bigger hurdle because the onus is on us to make the case for change. Waiting and seeing (yes you Tory eurosceptics and Business for Britain) isn’t going to cut it. Nor is wooliness over how we get out.
“1. Accentuate the positive. A message of opportunity and hope will be much more powerful and convincing than one of fear. The opportunity and hope come from the UK’s participation in, and hence every British citizen’s participation in, the scope, scale and diversity of Europe. It is not a trap or hindrance, as the antis will say, it is an opportunity.”
Learning: Outers must also be positive. We must stop the language of traps, Romanians next door, EUSSR and all that guff
“2. Accept the negatives, the many genuine reasons to criticise the EU. The basic sentiment should be that the EU does a bit of harm but a great deal of good. After all, every level of government does some harm – creating distortions, wrapping you in red tape, misspending your taxes, occasionally being guilty of corruption – whether it is your town council, Whitehall or Brussels, so in this the EU is no different. What matters is that it does much good too, often by restricting the ability of other levels of government to do harm – eg through subsidies and protectionism – and indeed the ability of powerful global companies to do harm, by means of competition laws. And it has safeguards to limit the harm it does, such as its Court of Auditors and its own anti-red tape campaign. When there is harm or mistakes are made, we can and must work to improve things.”
Learning: Outers must accept the positives of the EU. And meet each of those points raised by the In camp – “restricts national govts to do harm; restricts global companies from doing harm”.
“3. Occupy the high ground. This is a grand strategic choice which will affect Britain, and its place in the world, for decades, perhaps centuries, not a matter of a few pounds, jobs or points of GDP one way or the other. Don’t do as Clegg did by reeling off spurious statistics about jobs at risk or forecasts of economic gains or losses. Such statistics and forecasts will always be bogus, whether used by “ins” or “outs” because they all depend on guesswork about an unknowable future, and unknowable alternative domestic policies post-Brexit. The pro-campaign’s advantage is that the status quo is more knowable than what would happen if Britain left, so don’t throw it away by trading bogus guesses with the antis’ own bogus guesses.”
Learning: Firstly, don’t let them present theirs as the status quo option – it isn’t. If we vote IN we will stay in for a very very long time indeed and the journey is very knowable: it means full integration, euro and all. But also agree with the Inners that it is fruitless to trade stats.
“4. David Cameron must show, however, through the negotiation process that reform and progress are possible in the EU. An emphasis on helping to create a proper single market in services and digital commerce, which has been oft-proposed but much-delayed or hindered, would show that there is much to play for by staying in. The EU is not a static entity, it is an ever-changing one: the argument is that we need to be inside in order to keep changing it for the better, and in Britain’s interests”.
Learning: If he comes back with anything seriously substantive then things could get ‘interesting’. But he won’t – we already know what’s on the table and it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. The clue will be in the fact that full treaty change with an inter-governmental conference won’t happen.
“5. By pushing on open doors such as single markets liberalisation and the building of an energy union (a fully connected grid and open energy market), the negotiation can show also that the British have allies and admirers in the EU. It isn’t a case of us versus them. So don’t alienate those allies by making self-destructive, insulting demands as the Greeks have. Find allies who also want what we want, and hug them close.”
Learning: they will emphasise the single market over and over (because they know that plays well with the British). Other aspects will drift into the background unless we bring them forward. We mustn’t diss the single market, quite the reverse. We must pledge not to leave it when we give up full EU membership. That essentially means an EEA relationship which we must accept as the first step in the journey out. While maintaining that message we need to draw in other aspects of policy and accept that some will be done better in continued coopeartion with the EU while others won’t.
“6. Stress that whatever happens in the EU will affect Britain greatly, whether we are in or out. Simple geography dictates that. The difference lies in how much influence we have over EU events and policies. Switzerland and Norway, the standard examples of outside countries that are much affected by the EU, would have only a small chance to influence what it does if they were inside. Great Britain has a big influence, however, which it would lose by leaving.”
Learning: Well at least he acknowledges that it’ll affect Britain greatly if we stay in – that journey ‘deep in’ again, where we’re concerned. And they’ll go for Norway and Switzerland and will emphasise ‘small influence’ – better than ‘no influence’ so they are starting to learn. But they can’t give any more on this as their argument will collapse. So we should hammer it for all its worth while being ready for Norwegian politicians to pop up (those that favour ‘In’) to try and argue back.
“7. Use young people as the main voices for staying in, not super-annuated politicians or fat-cat business people. The chances the young can have, the travel that EU open skies has made cheap for them, the fellow-Europeans they work with in Manchester or London or Berlin, the European popular culture they share, the size of the market for their small start-ups thanks to Europe – these are the sorts of images that need to be shared. Parents and grandparents need to want Britain in the EU for the sake of their children and grandchildren.”
Learning: we equally need to go for the young vote. We need to make the case in pro-globalisation terms and in similar ways to that above.
“8. The antis will often argue that outside the EU, Britain would be wonderfully free to make its own trade deals and work closely with all those like-minded folk in English-speaking countries and the Commonwealth. So get Americans, Canadians, Indians, Australians and others to speak for your campaign, pointing out that if the antis were to bother to ask them, both the Commonwealth and the English-speaking peoples would actually prefer Britain to stay in the EU. There isn’t an alternative gang for Britain to join.”
Learning: we need to do the same in reverse and emphasise that we don’t want an “alternative gang” – that is the 1950s language of blocs. We want a globally-networked Britain with a myriad of influences everywhere drawing on the English language and on historic connections (including the EU).
“9. If Cameron thinks it important, then he can bargain for some small changes in the rules about EU migrants’ eligibility for welfare benefits. Otherwise, on immigration the ins should do two things. First, point out continually that more than half of immigration to Britain over the past decade has been from non-EU countries, which we are able to control entirely ourselves right now, and that EU migrants have on average been better educated and higher-skilled than non-EU immigrants. Second, push broadcasters or YouTube channels to show old episodes of the 1980s sitcom “Auf Wiedersehen Pet”, which portrayed a group of Geordie builders working in Germany, thanks to EU free movement rules. It is a two-way street, one that ordinary Brits have exploited before when they needed to. They might again, but won’t be able to if we leave.”
Learning: He’s assuming the campaign will be “UKIPist” in flavour. We mustn’t allow that to happen under any circumstances.
“10. If you must talk about negatives, talk of membership of the EU being rather like an insurance policy. We don’t know what the future will bring, 20, 30 or 40 years on, in politics, economics, the environment, health or anything else. Being in the EU will give us the chance of facing up to any threats or changes together with our neighbours, if it feels at that time advantageous to do so. It is an insurance against an unknowable future. Why take the risk of cancelling it?”
Learning: We must be prepared for this (especially the Russia threat alluded to here). We need to note where the EU has gone badly wrong in these areas and that we already know where Europe is heading demographically and economically….and it isn’t good. But of course that means an acceptance of immigration into the UK….Go back to Learning point 9…..