Thursday

2nd Jul 2020

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

Support quality EU news

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.

News in Brief

  1. EU still not pro-actively declaring tobacco meetings
  2. China to block Hong Kong exiles fleeing to UK
  3. EU stuck with Putin until 2036
  4. Malaysia pushes to keep selling palm oil to EU
  5. Austria raises corona alert on Western Balkans
  6. Turkey poised to convert Istanbul museum into mosque
  7. France leaves Nato operation after clash with Turkish ships
  8. EU Commission sets up skills agenda for next five years

Agenda

EU's virtual summit with China This WEEK

This week, the European Union and China are holding their first joint summit since April 2019. It comes amid the pandemic, which first surfaced in China's Wuhan, protests in Hong Kong and a belligerent US president.

Coronavirus

EU leaders to reconvene in July on budget and recovery

Most EU leaders want an agreement before the summer break, but the Dutch PM, leading the 'Frugal Four', warned there might not even be a deal then. But the ECB's Christian Lagarde has warned of a "dramatic" economic fall.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  3. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  5. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us