Why David Cameron’s approach to the EU referendum has been wrong from the offset.
The ultimate answer is the disingenuous and overall incompetent manner in which he has conducted himself across this whole affair.
Let us start with a simple analogy of the UK as a business, whereby the voters in the UK are akin to shareholders in UK Plc, and the government in turn are the equivalent of the board of directors and CEO.
Imagine for a moment that this company is a member of a trade organisation and that the company has decided it is time to review its membership of this organisation. The CEO has said he will attempt to renegotiate a new agreement with the trade organisation or end its membership and will be asking its shareholders to vote on the matter at an AGM.
In such a situation, I’m sure it would be expected of the CEO and the Board of Directors of this company to then go and negotiate with the organisation two agreements, the agreement to remain with the organisation and the terms under which the company leaves the organisation. Once they have all the information they would put these two options to the Shareholders, and make the case for the option they prefer based on proper due diligence.
I’m sure no one would disagree that this is an appropriate approach for the management team of the Company to have.
So why is it then, that in his approach to the negotiations on the referendum, the Prime Minister never attempted to negotiate any terms in relation to the possibility of a Leave vote. I can only speculate that it is either one of two possibilities.
Either he is incompetent, or more likely he has been disingenuous in his attempts to act on behalf of the British people in relation to a Leave vote, because he was in the Remain camp from the offset, despite claiming to be undecided on the issue.
Personally, I believe it was a tactical decision on his behalf. By choosing not to do the job of negotiating an exit deal prior to voting on the matter, the Remain camp now can make an argument based on facts and due diligence while the other team will have only possibilities, which in turn means a fear based campaign that invokes “World War 3” and “Global Brexit Recession” can work.
So yeah I think this referendum has been unfair from the beginning because the PM didn’t set the task of negotiating terms for both results at the same time. This would have put the referendum on an even footing but instead he got a promise of potential (pretty much nothing) changes to Remain in the EU, writes them lazily on a sheet and tosses them on a table to you and says this is Option 1 and then hands you an empty folder and says this is Option 2.
Personally I think this is a very disingenuous method of attempting to get what you want done. I think it has been done intentionally to try and give himself an advantage during a campaign, and I think he has performed a disservice to the people of the UK.