If you want to defeat your opponent it is essential that you watch him, listen to him, learn about him, understand how he thinks and how he will react. That way you can devise the approach to take to beat him when you engage. This is the space where anti-EU heads need to be right now.
Ken Clarke is one of the leading lights of the pro-EU side. He is connected, knowledgable and always engaging with like minded people throughout the EU. When he speaks, EU sceptics should listen carefully because it will provide a wealth of information about the battle grounds the Europhiles will pick and the tactics they will employ.
Clarke gave a timely interview on the Today programme yesterday morning that provides us with an insight into where Europhile thinking is, and the arguments we will be faced with in a referendum campaign. You can listen to the interview below:
We can see from Clarke’s comments that the Europhiles do not see the election results as a setback. For all the media hoohaa, they are making a cold assessment of the facts and contenting themselves that the factors which brought about the result are not a rejection of the EU, but a combination of other gripes.
The Europhiles are reassured that UKIP’s performance, while seemingly barnstorming, really only amounted to one third of a third of the electorate supporting them, less than 1 in 10 voters. The performance of the Lib Dems is not considered to be a reflection of anti-EU sentiment, rather a combination of the loss of protest vote status, the loss of tactical voters who have returned to Labour and that most pro-EU voters stayed at home last Thursday.
The battleground they will fight on will not be a surprise – but it will require some tightly targeted arguments to counter and defeat the lines the Europhiles will take, namely:
- Prosperity (the 3 million jobs meme, further opening of single market, access to other markets on better trade terms etc)
- Political security (stability since WWII, deep and peaceful cooperation etc)
- Role in the World (more clout as a group, more involvement in world events, increased capabilities etc)
- Immigration (a feature for all western democracies, need businessmen, students, skilled workers and ability to fill unskilled labour gaps etc)
Counter arguments to many of these points have long been uncoordinated, piecemeal, often badly informed or erroneous – making it possible for the Europhiles to discredit, undermine confidence in and defeat the anti-EU side. But a roadmap for leaving the EU that provides robust, effective, accurate and attractive alternatives to the Europhile vision now exists with FLexCit. Click on the link below for the latest edition:
Having such a roadmap enables the anti-EU side to reassure voters that the UK can leave the EU and rid ourselves of the political straitjacket, without suffering the economic consequences that are often used to justify remaining in the union. Having the well informed details to hand will enable the anti-EU side to counter, discredit and undermine confidence in the scare tactics and fatuous claims that the Europhiles will make.
You may be asking yourself, do we really need to be doing this now? Absolutely.
The local and European election results showed that the Conservatives are actually stronger than supposed and Labour somewhat weaker. There is a lot that can and will happen between now and May 2015, but as things stand the Conservatives have a better chance of beating Labour than many had previously supposed.
If the Conservatives win, David Cameron has boxed himself into holding an in-out referendum in 2017. Any attempt to not honour that commitment will result in a backbench assault that would finish his leadership. Therefore, the anti-EU side needs to prepare for a make or break vote in 2017.
While there are a number of different ‘sceptic’ groups, only by agreeing common ground and working together to achieve a shared objective will we win a referendum against the full might of the political class and their media helpers. The current state of the political landscape shows we need to begin the process now.
If you want to the UK to free itself from the EU, please spread the word.