Did we have balanced debate about the EU? With 52% voting to leave, my sense is that we were let down by a lack of information and in certain cases, misinformation. The Government didn’t capitalise on the opportunity to clearly communicate a balanced view – the debate became very polarised around issues of immigration and the economy. The campaign should and could have included the following elements:
- A debate including members of the EU parliament
One of the issues for many was voting for or against a ‘faceless bunch of bureaucrats’.
- Local community based discussions
Events for all to air their thoughts, alongside the bigger Question Time style discussion and TV panel debates, backed by an online forum and portal for further discussion, exchanges of views, would have helped
- A published cross party manifesto
The successes, the areas we could improve on, better case studies about human rights, the environment, freedom of movement and security. But also the everyday cultural issues such as the benefits of town twinning and the freedom to study abroad.
- A representation of young people’s views
There is some evidence that younger folks were much more in favour of staying ‘in’, did we really hear and reflect their voices?
- A time-line
What this means for us over the next year to 18 months – scenario planning.
Being part of the EU I am certain, gave us cleaner and better beaches and drinking water, less air pollution and protected our wildlife. How do you feel about where we go from here, happy, sad or worried – why not let 38 Degrees know in their new survey: https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/surveys/490.