16th-17th May 2011: In a debate on the Croatian Referendum, Andrew told the meeting:
"The title of the item on the agenda has been reversed. The original wording referred initially to the referendum with the communication strategy being mentioned afterwards. The new wording mentioned the communication strategy first and the referendum was mentioned almost as an afterthought.
"The use of the words 'communicate' and 'inform' imply that you only need to tell people the facts and agreement will follow automatically. The only possible reason for opposition to accession can be ignorance. Once ignorance has been dispelled, opposition will disappear with it.
"The debate will involve enormous amounts of Government and EU money being spent, not on providing objective information but one-sided propaganda. They will deluge the campaign with money and propaganda to produce a ‘Yes’ vote. This is what happened in the UK in 1975. At the beginning of the year there was, according to opinion polls, a two to one majority against continued membership. That was changed by a flood of propaganda to a two to one majority for remaining a member.
"The referendum must be held within a clear legal framework with spending limits not only on campaigning organisations but also on the Government and the EU. These limits must also cover the period between the end of negotiations and the signing of the Treaty, when an enormous propaganda campaign is planned. If this referendum is not conducted fairly, it will have no more validity or authority than the plebiscites conducted by European dictatorships.
"One final point: if there is a ‘Yes’ vote the referendum will be the only one held and its result will be final. If, however, there is a ‘No’ vote, further referendums will be held until the ‘right’ result is obtained."