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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Is it now all about Europe?

It was inevitable that, having secured his deal, David Cameron was going to come back to the UK and set the referendum date as early as possible. After all, this is one vote he does not really want and the last thing he needs is open warfare amongst his own cabinet for an extended period of time.

However, in setting the date for 23 June the Prime Minister has effectively crashed other people's parties. His decision means that for the next four months all the media will be talking about is Europe. Those of us in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and London, who are fighting elections for devolved administrations are not going to get a look in.

Whereas we want people to focus on health, education, housing and the economy, their attention will be drawn elsewhere. That is not a respectful approach to devolution.

Obviously we will do our best to break through this background chatter but there is another side to this. Campaigning on the European referendum in areas where there is devolved elections will necessarily take a back seat, so we will be behind the rest of the UK whichever side of the argument we are on.

These are not ideal circumstances in which to hold a referendum. Once more internal party considerations have trumped the national interest.
on the plus side at least its probably got people in wales talking about politics, and might even help increase turn out at the welsh assembly election in may. And if that happens that would be no bad thing as turn outs for senedd elections have been poor - never getting above 50 percent.
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