Thursday 9th June, 6:45pm start
Our most important vote for a generation is set for 23rd June 2016 - on whether the UK should Leave or Remain in the EU. There doesn't seem to be any particular Party divide on the issue with prominent personalities from all parties split over the issue. This referendum on sovereignty poses the issue of political principles more than any recent general election.
The consequences of this referendum will be generational. So what should we make of the #REMAIN and #LeaveEU campaigns? Is the primary issue control of national borders, economics, trade agreements, equality and employment legislation, or restoring democratic accountability of our politicians? The campaign so far has relied heavily on a series of fear and scare tactics over what life might be like after the vote rather than a positive case for remaining or leaving. Are there better arguments to be aired, and can we be trusted to hear them?
The exciting aspect of this referendum is the free vote and discussion allowed within the governing and opposition parties - a brief opening up from years of stultifying management of party politics. It's unusual to have high profile politicians like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove campaigning to Leave Europe in opposition to their Prime Minister, whilst the leader of the opposition is campaigning to stay in. Will the series of unelected 'experts' wheeled out to tell the electorate of the folly of independence win us over, or will the outcome be decided by other factors?
What will we make of this debate - cancel our newspapers for a few months, or make our principles count in this campaign?
Some background readings
The global case for staying in the EU, by Charles Grant, New Statesman 19-Feb-2016
For Europe, against the EU, by Brendan O'Neill, spiked 1 March 2016
Brexit: ‘Teachers must dispel the myths about themselves, their pupils and their parents, and Europe itself’, Claire Fox, TES, 6 March 2016
BCC head John Longworth accuses David Cameron of peddling scare stories as he quits in Brexit row, by Tim Ross and Christopher Hope, The Telegraph 7 March 2016
14 things the EU has done for Manchester, by Jennifer Williams, Manchester Evening News 10 March 2016
Why Voting ‘in’ Is Morally Wrong, by Kit Brennan, 16 April 2016
Podcast: European Referendum: what will decide the vote? Institute of Ideas, 20 May 2016
Venue and Time
In the main hall of Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL. If you're familiar with the area, it's diagonally opposite the Royal Exchange Stage Door.
Please arrive around 6:30pm for a prompt 6:45pm start - expected to finish before 8:30pm. Tickets are £5 (£4 concessions) payable in advance, and should be booked online via Eventbrite, by clicking on this BREXIT link or by Emailing email@example.com.
This discussion, including audience comments, will be filmed and made available online as a reference resource.
If you'd like to sponsor this discussion get in touch via the sponsor the salon page.
When & Where
Manchester Salon is a discussion forum inspired by the Institute of Ideas, aiming to better understand contemporary trends in society.
The aim is to try and capture the essence and nuances of the topics raised in current affairs, and discuss possible solutions. With as many views as there are participants, our conversations never end and are carried on more informally in the bar after the debate. Discussions are open to all.