The government’s decision not to hold the in/out EU Referendum vote on the same day as the Northern Ireland Assembly and Scottish and Welsh elections next year is yet another example of the government manipulating the situation to try and secure a yes vote.
Holding both would also put the onus on local Northern Ireland parties to come clean on their pro or anti EU credentials.
Whatever the outcome and Ukip will be to the fore in promoting a no vote – the people of Northern Ireland will be dramatically affected either way.
Therefore local parties particularly in time for the 2016 Assembly Elections need to unambiguously indicate in their manifesto policies are they supporting staying in Europe or coming out of the EU?
Just like the five Executive parties, the government’s calculations are always based around what is good for Conservative party unity and not what is good for the country.
Having all the votes on the same day would have maximised voter turn-out and would have made the decision on Europe more legitimate.
Trying to disconnect the votes says that somehow the EU is not a domestic political issue. The problem for David Cameron is that it is a domestic political issue. These are Del Boy tactics.
People know the EU is costing is millions a day and that we pay in billions more than we get out.
We could, for example, leave the EU and actually pay the farmers more than they are getting from the EU because we are net contributors – we pay in billions more than we get out.
We could pay farmers a whole new range of grants built around food security, for example.”
David McNarry MLA, Ukip’s leader in Northern Ireland