Wednesday

6th Jul 2022

Lords: Cameron should convey positive Yes message

  • Cameron should not play to fear, but portray a positive vision, Lords say (Photo: The European Union)

Prime minister David Cameron should lead the Yes campaign with a positive message instead of one that scares the British public over the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union, a committee of Lords has said, less than three months before the in-out referendum.

The UK government's case for remaining a member of the EU should be “based on an inclusive and positive vision of the UK’s role in a reformed EU”, they said in a report published by the House of Lords on Wednesday (30 March).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“A campaign based upon narrow national economic self-interest, alongside fear of the alternatives to membership, would be insufficient.”

Some political opponents had already accused Cameron of scaremongering when he said in February that a French migrant camp known as the Jungle could move to the UK in the case of a British exit, or Brexit.

Earlier this month, he also warned that a Brexit would trigger an economic shock that was not worth it.

“Let’s just remember what a shock really means. It means pressure on the pound sterling. It means jobs being lost. It means mortgage rates might rise. It means businesses closing. It means hard-working people losing their livelihoods”, Cameron said.

On 23 June 2016, the British voters will decide whether their country should remain as one of the 28 members of the European bloc, or leave.

Cameron will campaign for a Yes, after negotiating with his fellow government leaders a “new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union”.

The Lords noted in their report that the UK-focused title is a “misnomer”, since the UK-EU deal, if implemented, would have “far-reaching effects upon the EU as a whole”.

They also noted that the UK's devolved governments of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, would have liked to been consulted more in the settlement negotiating process.

Carwyn Jones, first minister for Wales, told the committee that the Welsh Government “had not been involved in the process of establishing the UK’s negotiating position, but instead had learned about it through the media”.

His Scottish counterpart, Nicola Sturgeon, was frustrated that her government was only informed, but not involved.

The report also highlights that Brexit would have practical implications for Northern Ireland, which shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland.

But a political crisis among governing parties in Northern Ireland had somewhat distracted the UK government's engagement, it said.

“We are concerned that, partly as a result of the problems within the power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland, these have not yet received the attention they deserve,” they said.

The House of Lords report was published a day after US treasury secretary Jacob Lew said Brexit would hurt the world economy.

“I don't think it's good for the European, or the British economy, or the global economy,” he said.

The latest Ipsos Mori poll, conducted 19-22 March, suggested 41 percent would back Brexit against 49 percent who would vote to remain in the EU. Around a third of the 1,023 respondents said they could still change their minds.

The poll results also suggested that if the UK votes No, 48 percent of the respondents believe Cameron should step down as PM, while 44 percent said he could stay on.

Analysis

EU's Article 50: the rules for Brexit

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty contains the rules that a member state wishing to leave the EU must follow. But it has never been used and leaves many unanswered questions on Brexit.

Cameron: No second chance after Brexit vote

David Cameron has set out the EU-UK deal in the House of Commons, taking aim at his Tory rival Boris Johnson who suggested that after a No vote the UK could get a better deal.

IMF: Brexit would cause severe damage

The International Monetary Fund warns of the consequences of a British exit from the EU. Brexit campaigners say the fund is politically motivated.

Column

'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements

Some modest headway in recognising the unrelenting tide of discrimination and violence facing women worldwide was made at last week's largely self-congratulatory and mostly irrelevant G7 talk-fest. But no one mentioned abortion, just days after the Roe vs Wade decision.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. Instant legal challenge after ok for 'green' gas and nuclear
  2. Alleged Copenhagen shooter tried calling helpline
  3. Socialist leader urges Czech PM to ratify Istanbul convention
  4. Scottish law chief casts doubt on referendum
  5. British PM faces mounting rebellion
  6. Russian military base near Finnish border emptied
  7. Euro slides to lowest level in two decades
  8. State intervention ends Norwegian oil and gas strike

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. EU readies for 'complete Russian gas cut-off', von der Leyen says
  2. Rising prices expose lack of coherent EU response
  3. Keeping gas as 'green' in taxonomy vote only helps Russia
  4. 'War on Women' needs forceful response, not glib statements
  5. Greece defends disputed media and migration track record
  6. MEPs adopt new digital 'rule book', amid surveillance doubts
  7. 'World is watching', as MEPs vote on green finance rules
  8. Turkey sends mixed signals on Sweden's entry into Nato

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us