Thanks and at least two cheers to our local paper and Johnston Press, etc, for the full page of figures on how we now think on Europe, (Northumberland Gazette, April 26).
As a Lib Dem Remainer, I cautiously welcome the slight shift in opinion. I’m not surprised that it is led by younger voters. They are the hardest done by.
However, only two cheers because:
1) The figures related to ‘another referendum’ on the same question. Other research shows that asking instead about wanting a vote on whatever deal the Government comes up with produces over 60 per cent in favour.
2) The questions did the Leavers no favours by concentrating on the immediate economic benefits or otherwise. At present it is clearly ‘otherwise’. However, the Leave case is that all will be well once we have new trade agreements. This may be wishful thinking, but should have been mentioned.
3) The exercise confined itself to the narrow economic and selfish Conservative arguments on both sides in the referendum debate. The EU has always been more than that, something we should remember as we approach the centenary of the Armistice. Friends in war and in rebuilding after the war should be recognised in our policies.
4) Finally, the questions did not reflect that our politicians’ not very competent preoccupation with Brexit has stopped them addressing the causes of anger expressed in the referendum.
Low pay, insecure jobs, dignity, South East dominance, public service cuts, inhumane and incompetent immigration policies, misleading politics – all these still have to be tackled.