Last week’s head-to-head debate between British Conservative MP Bill Cash and former Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) John Bruton is now online. You can view the full video below or on Vimeo here. It was a fascinating debate between two politicians with very different points of view; Bruton, who describes himself as an “enthusiastic Euro-enthusiast”, and Cash, who led the rebellion against the Maastricht treaty during the government of John Major.
We also had some questions come in to our panellists from our Facebook page. If you’d like to see just the answers to these questions, then we’ve also published the relevant extracts from the main video below. First up, Virág asked:
Why do we work out ‘preventative’ guidelines like the EFSF & EFSM only when the trouble already shows serious effects on the whole market?
In other words – why does Europe seem to be permanently “behind the curve”?
Next, MandyandPj asked a question that we’ve received a number of times on Debating Europe:
[Should the EU] seek to reinforce [its] mandate with European citizens by insisting that each nation hold a referendum as to whether to remain with the EU or leave? Forcing people to remain in a political system will only work for a short time.
Needless to say, our panellists took completely opposite views on this question. Have a look at the video below to see their different arguments.
What do YOU think? Do we need individual referenda on EU membership across Europe to strengthen the EU’s mandate? Or do referenda undermine representative democracy and grossly simplify complex decisions? Let us know your thoughts on this (or any of the other issues raised in the debate) in the form below, and we’ll take your comments to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.
Bill Cash is a British Conservative MP and Secretary of the European Reform Forum. Under Prime Minister John Major, he was ringleader of a rebellion over the Maastricht treaty that almost brought down the government.
John Bruton was Irish Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997. He also served as EU Ambassador to the US from 2004–2009, and is a former Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP).