Saturday, 3 October 2009

Cameron Must Guarantee A Referendum On Europe

Sign up to the I Want a Referendum campaign

A message from David Cameron I discovered in my Yahoo inblox this morning:

I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the

Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve.

I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a 'No' vote.

If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen.

Sorry, Dave, that won't do. For one thing, the 'one policy at a time' rhetoric is plainly nonsense. The population of the UK having the chance to decide the destiny of their own country is absolutely not contingent upon the decision of the Irish or the Czechs. It's a matter of principle. The 'wait and see' invertibrate non-leadership option is just a sop to the wetter 'big beasts' of the Tory party (Clarke, Hesaltine etc). They have to get behind the principle or get out because we, the people have had enough.

What there must be is a concrete resolution - and a guarantee - that there will be a referendum as soon as the Conservatives win power no matter what. We undertand that the abject dishonesty of New Labour - you know, people like Alastair Campbell, Mandelson and President Bliar - has put us into this parlous position (by committing treason and then boasting about that fact at every opportunity - Campbell's at it again today), but David Cameron and the Conservative party need to steer us out of it. This really will become a test of Cameron's leadership. If he fails to meet the challenge, I think he will be percieved as incapable of leading even his own party. That could quite easily cost him the election.

So let me repeat it: the UK must be guaranteed a referendum on the EU constitution Lisbon treaty, regardless of the outcome of votes in other member states.

Let Brussels hold its breath for a change.

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