Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Referendum pressure mounts for Gordon Brown (EU Treaty)

Pro Referendum Rally Will today see the Unions at the TUC conference give Gordon Brown another indication of their discontent?

Yesterday they voted to take "co-ordinated industrial action" against the government over its below-inflation pay rise.

Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCU), said: "When Gordon Brown slams the door in our face, we have to say we aren't accepting it. Unity is strength."

Steve Cox, of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "None of us want a repeat of the winter of 1978. However, if the government continues like this, we have to be ready for action. If we are left with no alternative, we will all be out on the street."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, warned that the government would pay a "heavy price" if it did not reconsider the proposed pay deal.

Today the unions are expected to back at least one of the two proposed motions asking for a referendum on the EU Treaty. The RMT are demanding that the TUC should actively campaign for a "no" vote if a referendum is to take place.

This is all good stuff, especially as David Cameron is pledging to hold an Opposition Day debate, calling for a referendum when MPs return to Parliament in October. Can Gordon continue to refuse us our right to the referendum his party promised us in their election manifesto? David Cameron thinks not. He says: "Labour MPs should stick to what they promised. They should vote for our motion when we bring it forward in the House of Commons."

With a growing number of Labour and Lib Dem MPs also asking for a referendum, it looks like Gordon is slowly but surely backing himself into a corner. But I have no doubt he will manage to spin his way back out as usual. My bet is that he will claim that his solid "red lines" are not as solid as he thought they would be, and in that case, it would be right to put the question to the people after all.

1 comment:

Ordovicius said...

And to add a bit of light entertainment, Hain employs the same tactics that ended the Labour majority in Cardiff Bay.