Referendum Party

Referendum Party in Europe

Description of Referendum Party

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes referendum party in the following terms: [1] Uniquely in British electoral history, Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Partyran in the 1997 general election on the platform that if elected it would hold a referendum on the UK’s relationship with the EU and then disband itself (see more in this European encyclopedia). Backed by £20 million from its leader, and fielding some candidates who were markedly more colourful than the conventional domestic politician, it did not come near to winning a seat but polled over 800,000 votes, a fair level of support in a country not given to personality cult politics. More importantly, it raised public awareness of the European question and so alarmed the main parties that they undertook not to adopt the single currency without themselves calling a referendum – a promise that was to have momentous repercussions in the years that followed, deterring Prime Minister Tony Blair from abandoning the pound and sharpening differences over the desirability of integration.

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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