In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges Norman Lamont, former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, or Finance Minister, and now Conservative peer in the House of Lords, on why he thinks the UK should leave the European Union.
Norman Lamont is a British Conservative politician backing Britain’s pull-out from the EU in the June 23 membership referendum.
The thing that could save Europe…is actually to have a vote against British membership.
He served under two prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and as Chancellor of the Exchequer he presided over the withdrawal of the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in September 1992. He has been sitting in the House of Lords, the unelected upper house of the British parliament, as Lord Lamont of Lerwick since 1998.
As we approach this key vote amid a refugee crisis, an unravelling eurozone and Russia’s challenge to European unity, we dissect with him the arguments for and against the so-called Brexit.
We explore the pros and cons for the economy, immigration and security, and the facts behind the assertion that the UK will be better off going it alone. We also discuss with him whether Britain’s role in the world will be strengthened or weakened outside the European club, and ponder whether a victory for the leave camp will trigger the disintegration of the UK and the European project as we know them.
With the help of a panel of experts we ask: What will Britain look like outside the EU? Will it be better off on its own? Can it retain its global status? And could Brexit break up the United Kingdom and the European Union?
Joining this discussion are:
- Steven Woolfe, a member of the European parliament for the UK Independence party (UKIP), and its spokesman on migration and financial affairs;
- Agnes Poirier, a French journalist and commentator based in London;
- Hugo Dixon, a British journalist and author of The In/Out Question: Why Britain Should Stay in the EU and Fight to Make it Better, and editor-in-chief of InFacts.
Brexit: Au revoir Europe? with Norman Lamont will be broadcast on April 29 at 20:00 GMT, and will be repeated on April 30 at 12:00, May 1 at 01:00, and May 2 at 06:00.
Head to Head is Al Jazeera’s forum of ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, the economic crisis, democracy and intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.
Watch previous Head to Head shows here.