Saturday, December 22

A Question of a Referendum

Do you believe that the UK Government should hold a referendum on the European Union's Reform Treaty? ( That is the straight forward single question that the UK's largest member based business organisation the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is this week asking of its 210,000 members via an online questionnaire. All paid up members have been emailed in the past few days drawing attention to the survey.

The next question when they have got the answer is going to be; what will the FSB managers do. Twice FSB delegates at their annual conferences (1995 and 2001) have demanded by vote that the UK withdraw from the EU and twice FSB policy has been not to support the wishes of its members and to continue to placate government policy towards the UK's membership.

By reading the other pieces linked from the label below readers will be able to follow the placatory line of the FSB with regard to the EU which this blog has not been shy in exposing.

So it is with bated breath that we awaited the outcome of the latest survey of FSB members. Will the FSB be the first (or only) business lobbying organisation to join a number of Trade Unions and call for a vote on the so called Reform Treaty? There is an encouraging factor in that the National Chairman of the FSB, John Wright was curiously for ten years a member of the NEC of the very anti-business Trade Union NALGO. The latter-day successor to NALGO UNISON (and indeed the TUC) are keen supporters of a referendum on this vexed issue.

The reasons for a referendum on the so called 'reform' treaty have been frequently stated on this blog. We welcome the FSB's decision to ask its members their view, our only hope is that the policy managers of the FSB act this time on the wishes of their members. Rest assured as an enthuastic member of the FSB the editor of this blog will be keenly watching the FSB's reaction.

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