Andy Halsall : UK needs new 'productive' Euroscepticism

If you take a cursory glance at British politics over recent weeks, you might be forgiven for assuming that as a Brit you only have two options when it comes to the European Union. Either you are pro-EU and opposed to change, opposed to a referendum and happy with the creeping political union that we are seeing. Or you are Eurosceptic, opposed to everything the EU stands for, opposed to any political union and not only want to see a referendum, but actively want to remove Britain from the bloc. Of course that is not even remotely true: there is not a binary split on Europe, and if you look at the detail there is a whole spectrum of positions and, more to the point, there is a lot to talk about.

The biggest problem that we seem to face when it comes to the debate on Europe is not even one of policy or direction – these are things we can work out through discussion – it is one of labelling. The pro and sceptic positions, beyond presenting a false dichotomy, make it too easy to pigeon-hole people in ways that are not only unfair, but also wildly inaccurate.

My party, the Pirate Party UK, is supportive of a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU. It is in our manifesto and it is the only position we can take given our principles. The reasons for that are obvious: the drive toward greater political union, one accelerated by the recent economic downturn, has the potential to change the EU in a way that was not entirely obvious when we joined. The potentially massive change in our relationship with the EU is something that people must have a say in. As a result we have, on occasion, been labelled as Eurosceptic and frankly, it is a term I would be happy to embrace, if we could shed some of the rather negative baggage that currently comes with it.

PPUK dismay at GMO research threat

Thursday, 24 May, 2012 - 21:30

Science not scythes - Evidence is vital for sound public policy

I am alarmed that the site of an experimental study will be targeted by anti-GM activists intent on destroying important research into genetically-modified wheat, and that this criminal destruction is being promoted by the Green Party using the euphemism "mass decontamination".

Policy 2012 - Next Steps

The Pirate Party Needs Your Help

The Party is asking volunteers to join policy working groups in the next stage of Policy 2011. We want you to get involved in the discussion and the refinement of policies for our next manifesto and beyond.

If you want to be involved, are a member and would like to help shape the party for 2012 then join one or more of the working groups listed below. You can do this by signing up to the working group mailing lists (Send an email with 'subscribe' as the subject, to the relevant address).

Updates will be available at www.pirateparty.org.uk and from the working group leaders via the mailing list. If you are already familiar with the policy process, you can skip the next bit and scroll down to the description and email addresses for the groups below right away.

If you are not a member, you can join at https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/party/membership/

Policy 2011 - A Policy Upgrade

Loz Kaye's picture

I am happy to announce that today the party is kicking off its public policy process.  To get involved simply take a look at www.pirateparty.org.uk/policy2011 and then go to piratethispolicy.co.uk to let us know what you think.

As you know, over the last year I have been listening to members, voters and the public as well as going out and speaking to the people who had an opportunity to vote for one of our candidates in Gorton, Oldham and Bury. I watched as our brothers and sisters in Berlin reinvigorated their voters and overturned a legacy of decline and apathy.  I saw that it was not just because they had money, not just because the electoral system in Berlin is fairer, but because they had ideas that people could vote for; ideas that came from the same guiding principles as our own, ideas that were well presented, sensible and relevant.  They were ideas that won 8.9% of an election and they were good ideas.

European Governments in Massive Sell-Out to Recording Industry

Monday, 12 September, 2011 - 11:45

In a move heavily lobbied for by the music industry, the EU Council has voted, without debate, to extend copyright monopolies on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. Despite opposition from many countries, and the European Parliament, governments across the EU have once again shown how out of touch they are with the public mood.