Tuesday, 15 December 2015

General Election. Next Referendum on Europe

No sooner than the echoes of Labour Leadership Election are dying down, we jump straight back to the ever present issue of IN or OUT of the European Union.

Despite the importance of the subject, you might be forgiven if you simply ignore what is coming next: 2016 GLA Election and the decision to put either Zac Goldsmith or Sadiq Khan at the helm of the Greater London Authority.

Both ZacGoldsmith and Sadiq Kahn, one Conservative and one Labour, have said that they will do everything they can to stop Heathrow Airport's expansion - namely the construction of another runway and presumably coupled with new airport facilities.

but Zac Goldmith's position is a bit peculiar. He said that he didn't want any Conservative Party's decision about Heathrow before the GLA Election and that he would resign if there was such a decision before the GLA Election but that he wouldn't resign if the decision was made after the GLA Election. A politician's tactic.

If the Conservative Party's decision came before the GLA Election, the GLA Election could become a referendum about building or not building another runway at Heathrow Airport, losing the aspiring Mayor of London much needed public support. Kindly enough, Prime Minister David Cameron decided to postpone making such decision until after the GLA Election.

Now, let's talk about another expected and very much called Referendum because... it is a Referendum. Here is the news. 25 out of a total of 27 countries oppose Britain's attempt to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the European Union - when such renegotiation was one of the conditions to postpone a Referendum on Membership of the European Union that should have happened ages ago.

Now, the Conservative Party finds itself having more allies in the Scottish National Party than in the Conservative Party but there are more weapons in the Prime Minister's arsenal to push forward of staying in the European Union despite the failure of any negotiations. Parliament should be asked to decide about lowering the minimum age to be able to vote. The calculation is that by lowering voting age that statistics show could incline the balance in favour of a decision to stay the pro-EU side could win the day.

The Daily Telegraph produce a very interesting set of statistics that indicate that those under 18 years-of-age are most likely to vote to stay in the European Union. Should there a very high turnout of those under 18 years of age the calculation is that there would be 1,035,000 votes for IN and 165,000 votes for OUT or Brexit as it is now usually called. However, for this to occur another set of statistics would have to be different and this has to do with low turnout in elections of those of a younger age.

For those wanting to stay IN, there is some consolation given the fact that the Scottish Referendum generated a turnout of 84.5. Such turnout would have be at similar levels across the United Kingdom. The ball is in the air and rest assured that from now until the day when the Referendum on the European Union is finally called.

Now, here is the issue. Will Angela Merkel be at the helm in Germany when the UK Referendum on Membership of the European Union takes place? The latest date for a German Federal Election is 22 October 2017. The earliest date is 27 August 2017. David Cameron could call a Referendum in the British summer thus asking the Electorate to vote before the German Federal Elections.

We know that at the moment Angela Merkel is not the most popular Leader in Germany and that her position regarding the issue of Refugees has been criticized by her Bavarian partners in the ruling Coalition. What will be Angela Merkel's situation by the end of 2017 or by the summer of 2017 is something that I don't and that I reckon nobody knows. It could be the case the seeing danger ahead, David Cameron might decide to call a Referendum in 2016, rather than in 2017. This is extraordinarily difficult but even so it is very much a possibility.

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