Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Well there's a surprise

Pretty much as predicted "Call me Dave" is hinting that he wont hold a referendum if all 27 EU countries have ratified the Lisbon Treaty.

The Tory leader’s signal could antagonise eurosceptic Tories who want a popular vote on the document whether or not it has taken legal force.

Mr Cameron spoke as Irish voters prepare for their referendum on the Treaty on Friday, with polls pointing to a Yes.

Mr Cameron is in a political quandary over his pledge to hold a British vote on the treaty.

It has now been ratified by 23 of the 27 EU states, including the UK.

Ireland, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic have not endorsed it yet, but are likely to do so before the British general election next year.

In that case, a new Tory government would have to decide whether to hold a British referendum on a ratified treaty, something that other EU leaders say would effectively be an in-or-out choice on Britain’s entire EU membership.

Mr Cameron has repeatedly refused to say what he will do if he comes to power with the treaty ratified, saying only that he will “not let matters rest.”

In an LBC radio interview, the Tory leader said that if the treaty is ratified, “new circumstances” will apply, suggesting a new Tory policy will be needed.

"If this treaty is still alive, if it is still being discussed and debated anywhere in Europe, then we will give you that referendum, we will name the date during the election campaign, we'll hold that referendum straight away and I will lead the campaign for a No," he said.

"Now, if those circumstances change, if the Germans ratify, if the Poles ratify, if the Czechs ratify, if the Irish vote Yes to the treaty, then a new set of circumstances [apply], and I will address those at the time."

He went on to signal that he would not consider a move that could lead to Britain leaving the EU.

He said: "I want us to be in the European Union. We are a trading nation, we should be co-operating with our allies and friends in Europe over things like the environment and crime, of course we should."

Talk about out of step with the population, Yes the UK is a trading nation, but no we don't need to be in the EU to trade. The EU trades far more with us than we do with them, they need to sell us their goods, not vice versa. Nor do we need a tighter political union in which to trade, in fact outside of the EU we'd be able to buy cheaper without the unnecessary restrictions and trade barriers that the EU puts in our path. CAP springs to mind here. All we have to do is state we'll trade with anyone, anywhere, anytime and I doubt anyone will notice the difference, other than the burden of taxation would go down along with prices.

Just another reason not to vote Tory.

3 annotations:

Norton Folgate said...

I was listening to the interview live and there was NO hint there would not be a referendum if lisbon was ratified, he simply said the decision what they would do in the event that happened would be made and announced then and not beforehand.

Politicians rarely answer hypotheticals with a definative answer.

I suspect the story may be right, but i really hope it isn't.

Quiet_Man said...

Hmmmm, keeping me guessing isn't an ideal way to gain my vote either.

I may be reading too much into this, but my gut feeling tells me if Lisbon is ratified by all, Cameron will just drop it.

scunnert said...

Absolutely correct QM - he's madly scrambling for an out - not out of the EU - out of his commitment to hold a referendum.