Bernard Jenkin’s EU “mandate referendum” spin

Bernard Jenkin, a pro-EU-membership MP who likes to call himself a eurosceptic, makes quite a few good points in his latest spin-laden article – which makes it abundantly clear that he has not learned from UKIP’s election victory: the country is sick and tired of spin – and that they recognise it when they see it.

Firstly, he resorts to statistical / semantic massage.  He says that:

“only 7.6% of those eligible to vote supported UKIP”

But using his logic, it follows that the Conservatives only obtained approximately 15% of the votes of those eligible to vote.  He chooses not to mention that.

Secondly, he surely has to be joking about the acceptability of:

“… a mandate” referendum for next year, setting out his terms for the “new relationship” he wants the UK to have with our European partners.”

A mandate referendum kicks the entire EU referendum question into the long grass – into the next parliament.  There is zero chance of Cameron winning a parliamentary majority, so there is zero chance of his being able to offer that referendum.  There is also zero chance of the EU negotiating a settlement that will satisfy both the EU’s cherished “ever closer union” and the UK population’s determination to have its sovereignty back.

As has been said often of late, it is impossible to ride two horses simultaneously, when they are travelling in opposite directions.


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