Birmingham Salon

You, Me, and the EU – Should We Stay or Go?

Wednesday 15th June, 7.30 pm 
at The Victoria, 46 John Bright Street,  Birmingham

In the run-up to the EU referendum, both sides have played up the hazards of leaving or staying, leading to a depressing and fearful atmosphere. Competing lists of professionals or chief executives in favour of either side add noise rather than illumination.

The two sides in the referendum don’t divide neatly along party political lines. This means many of us voting either way will be in the company of those we wouldn’t normally look to for leadership. Those unsure of how to vote might well have felt  patronised by the £9 million leaflet when they wanted information rather than persuasion. 

Certainly, as we’ve been members of the EU for so long, the prospect of it not being a major part of our lives is unsettling. Neither the UK economy nor that of the Eurozone is performing well at the moment. How it will be affected if we leave or stay is difficult to call. Jeremy Corbyn suggests leaving will lead to a bonfire of workers’ rights. But others on the left have argued that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is just as big a threat.

For those who want to leave, the idea of remaining within a structure that operates on increasingly supranational lines is disturbing.  If the EU is so bad for sovereignty and democracy, our longstanding membership may have made us somewhat confused in our thinking about these things. For instance, does being in favour of UK sovereignty make you a pull-up-the-drawbridge nationalist leaving refugees to die in the sea? Can we make the EU more democratic by staying in?


Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green - to be confirmed depending on House of Commons business

Dr Huw Macartney, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham.  Huw is a political economist whose work is broadly concerned with the politics of banking and financial services.  He is the author of European Democratic Legitimacy and the Debt Crisis, and Variegated Neoliberalism: European Financial Market Integration.

Rob Lyons, Science and Technology Director for the Institute of Ideas and Campaigns Manager for  Action on Consumer Choice. Rob is a journalist specialising in science, technology, health, food and the environment, and the author of Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder.

Chair: Rosie Cuckston

This is a free event.


European Demos - A Historical Myth - Section 2 dispels what it sees as the myths of the EU and Section 3 argues that the EU is in the European tradition of top down attempts at state building

Frank Furedi points out that European history includes the development of the ideals of toleration and liberty in whilst Yanis Varoufakis believes that a Brexit will give most likely give rise to nationalism and xenophobia