“We thought we were only joining a free trade zone”

Not true. We were never hoodwinked. We actually left a free trade zone (EFTA) to join the EU, specifically because we felt free trade was not enough. The Wilson government, setting out its reasons for applying in 1967, stressed that “Europe is now faced with the opportunity of a great move forward in political unity and we can — and indeed we must — play our full part in it”. And before the referendum in 1975, national newspapers on both left and right were clear that political, not just economic, integration was proposed and would be a positive outcome. Evidence


          	

“No-one under 55 has ever had a say on the EU”

Not true. If the only way to have a say on an issue is to have a national referendum on it, then none of us have had a say on anything much! We’ve never had national referendums on joining NATO, WTO, the UN or any international structure, nor on any domestic policy issue. Why? Because we have a parliamentary system providing for detailed scrutiny by our elected representatives. Such questions are rarely a simple yes/no, but to do with terms and conditions which are constantly renegotiated and change. The main political parties have always had different views on the EU since we joined and this has featured in general election campaigns, just as other issues do. We also have specific elections on Europe every 5 years when we elect our MEPs!