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BBC Election 2005

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April 2005, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
UK voters' panel: Michael Dommett

MEET THE PANEL
Michael Dommett
Name: Michael Dommett
Age: 48
Lives: Alton, Hampshire
Works: Engineer
Current voting intention: Liberal Democrats
In 10 words or less:
"Folk dancing civil engineer, loves exploring, history and reading"

The major parties are not talking about Europe. This is a great pity.

I believe that all three major parties have internal splits on Europe, but that shouldn't stop us from talking about it.

No one is explaining the proposed changes to the EU apart from short misleading sound bites.

I am in favour of the EU, but we need to get rid of the corruption. It has been there for ages.

I believe that instead of getting more access to fishing stocks for our fishermen, we should insist on large no-fish zones so that stocks have a chance to recover.

I believe that we must stop the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidising sales on the world markets - subsidising the sale of beet sugar against cane sugar, for instance.

VOTERS' PANEL: EUROPE
I strongly believe that the British civil servants who write EU regulations into law should write simpler documents.

The main problem overall however is that to run the EU properly and effectively all member governments will have to relinquish some of their own powers.

And governments don't give up powers easily, do they?


Your comments:

Michael appears to be putting the cart before the horse. We shouldn't give up any powers until we have addressed a more fundamental issue - the corruption that means that no EU budget has ever been approved by the auditors. Otherwise, he is just giving away more powers to be stolen.
B F, London

Why is no air time given to people in favour of a fully federal Europe? The debate seems to revolve around the little Englanders versus the fuzzy don't minders. Some people are enthusiastic about the exciting possibilities presented by further integration and cooperation amongst the peoples of Europe, but they get little chance to say so.
Ken Brown, Stroud Gloucs

If someone has to tell me how to live my life, then I would rather it was someone who has grown up in the same country and with the same traditions as me than someone with no idea about the country and how it function as a whole.
Jo Gaston, Dorset, England

There's a tension between the needs of modern, mobile economies to trade and the needs of people to have vibrant, distinctive communities. I firmly believe that the needs of the powerful trans-national corporations should not dictate what my local community is like. Cooperation does not mean uniformity. I certainly agree with Mike about the corruption, though. "Corrupt politician" should be an oxymoron, not a tautology!
JC, Hants, UK

Michael you are suggesting some basic renegotiation of the CAP and the fisheries policy. It's not going to happen. Being well-disposed towards other European countries does not depend on Brussels institutions, and we might be better off with a Nafta-style free trade area without the grandiose political ambitions.
Ian Lynch, Caldicot, Wales

I agree with Michael's comments, but would like to comment on Ian's remarks. To function properly any free trade area needs certain machinery. I certainly would not want the UK to be part of Nafta as the machinery there works like this: the US basically runs things and enjoys preferential treatment. At least the EU bureaucracy is even-handed!
David Johnson, Harpenden





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