Should it be necessary to be British to vote in the EU referendum?
Scare stories about European ‘foreigners’ having a say in the outcome overlook the fact that many non-citizens can vote in UK elections already. Stranger still, no one – not even Ukip – seems to want to talk about it
The vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union may still be months away, but already the scare stories have started. One that is particularly revealing is the question about who should be allowed to vote in the in/out referendum. The Mail on Sunday reported Tory concerns that one million Europeans who are not UK passport holders could be allowed to cast their vote. Conservative MP Philip Davies told the paper that there was “massive concern that the referendum could be rigged to deliver a desired outcome. But it would be unjustifiable if EU nationals were allowed to take part in this vote”.
Such is the concern that Eurosceptic Tories have challenged David Lidington, the minister for Europe, to make sure these European foreigners are not allowed to vote. At present, EU citizens living in this country can vote in the local and European elections but not in the general election. Tory rebels want the referendum to be run under general election rules. What could be fairer?
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Talk of West Ham turning to Rafa Benitez in place of Sam Allardyce raises the question: what about British managers? If even a club like West Ham thinks foreign what hope is there for Britons who dream of managing the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal or Manchester City? And that this is a question being asked in a season where British managers have made quite a mark shows the problem for the native born.
I doubt if since the rise of the cult of the foreign manager in this country we have had so much spotlight on British managers. Think Eddie Howe at Bournemouth, who has done the seemingly impossible by taking the club into the Premiership. Or Alex Neil, the Scot, who could do the same with Norwich. Garry Monk, at Swansea, has done so well that he can express regret for missing out on Europe and this after playing fluent, attractive, football. And then there is Alan Pardew, who took over Crystal Palace when it looked doomed and saved them with more than something to spare.
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