Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

The Sun – you what?

The Sun's graphic

The graphic above appears on the Sun’s website today as part of their “Oi, Gordon – give us a referendum on the EU reform treaty or else” campaign.

That it’s full of distortions is unsurprising, but some of these key points appear to be outright lies.

I mean, I’ve read the old constitution, upon which the new treaty is heavily based, and am fairly well up on the contents of the new reform treaty. By my reckoning:

LIES: At no point is the EU given powers to oversee the UK economy. At no point is an EU army (Churchill’s idea, that…) founded. There is no mention of the EU gaining control of health and education. Britain has maintained its opt-out over human rights clauses, as well as over immigration and asylum. Oh, and – even if it may be very similar to the old constitution – it’s no longer a constitution.

DISTORTIONS: Under the terms of the new text, there will be no EU Foreign Minister (merely a powerless foreign affairs spokesman). Even the lost vetoes and diplomatic service thing are, in context, overblown and not as drastic as they are made out.

In other words, out of the ten attention-grabbing items listed in that graphic (the only part of the story most Sun readers are likely to bother reading), no fewer than nine are more or less nonsense.

Ah… Informed debate, eh? Dontcha just love it?

Oh, and please also note that in their report on their MORI poll on the EU treaty and proposed referendum, their figures are different between the pie charts and the text.

In the pie charts, 32% are for, 38% against – a significant six point difference. In the text, 44% are for, 46% against – within the margin of error.

And, as blogging poll expert Anthony Wells notes, those figures could also – rather than suggest, as the Sun does, that a referendum is both essential and going to provide an inevitable win for the “No” camp – show that the “Yes” camp has a far stronger chance of winning than anyone ever expected.


  1. One thing that the Sun is right on:

    Labour promised a referendum, and now they’re denying us our democratic vote.

    Spin all you like, Nosemonkey

  2. Solutions for the European Union should be found at the EU level, starting with democratic accountability.

    National referanda are no answer to the needs of the citizens of the Union in a globalised world.

    Ralf Grahn

  3. They actually printed that thing? Christ, it’s the Tom Lehrer moment – reality thunders past the outstretched hands of satire, like Lesley Vainikolo swatting a winger onto the speedway track at Odsal.

    That’s actually self-satirising; have they peaked?

  4. Congrats on making Dale’s top thirty non aligned British blogs

  5. Frankly, I am not sure that the Sun seems to be that focused on the referendum. The whole thing seems to be quite dated and tired. Are they serious abouth their campaign? Outside The Sun + The Telegraph, does not seem to be any echoes at all.

    What I found interesting is that the “I want a referendum” website seems to be a copy and paste from the “Open Europe” website (up to the telephone number). Does not seem to be that credible.

    Curious to see if Miliband will have the guts to punish the rogues MPs.

  6. You know Rebekah Wade is serious when she brings the big guns out… check out today’s Page 3.


  7. So correcting lies and distortions is spinning now Thompson? I must remember that one.

  8. You’re spinning because you are ignoring the most important fact, that the Labour Party promised a referendum in their manifesto.

    Thomas L,
    “Curious to see if Miliband will have the guts to punish the rogues MPs”

    Yeah, I agree you’re curious. So your definition of a “rogue MP” is one who wishes to honour a commitment in their manifesto?

  9. Sorry, wrong personal pronoun, I thought the question came from Nosemonkey.

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