1. The Reform Treaty, as compared to the Original Constitutional Treaty, requires a referendum of the electorate of the United Kingdom because it is the equivalent to the Constitutional Treaty, even if not the same. It is a distinction without a proper difference.
2. A referendum is required for the following constitutional reasons: the Reform Treaty with the merger of the TEC, based on the Treaty of Rome (which was the genesis of the European Economic Community), followed by the Single European Act on the one hand and the TEU (with its genesis in the Maastricht Treaty which deals with European government, followed by Nice and Amsterdam), on the other, into a Union with an overarching single legal personality and a self-amending text is "substantial constitutional change", even "fundamental change" in terms that warrant a referendum according to the government's own criteria.
4. The Reform Treaty on all these tests requires a referendum. It would be a deceit of the electorate (even by the criteria for a referendum set out by the Government) to refuse to hold one, unless the Treaty itself was rejected by the Prime Minister in the IGC on 18/19 October as he should. Unless this occurs, refusal to hold a referendum would be a breach of trust with respect to the Reform Treaty (let alone past promises about the original Constitutional Treaty made in 2004) and would run clearly contrary to the assertions of the present Prime Minister that he is committed to restoring good governance, democracy and trust.
It is quite obvious that some members of this cross party committee are saying that we must have a referendum on the EU Treaty. This report rubbishes any claim by Gordon Brown that this Reform Treaty is sufficiently different to the Constitutional Treaty not to warrant a public vote.
The following is taken from the committee's conclusions:
76. We wish to emphasise that the proposals in the Reform Treaty raise a serious difficulty of a constitutional order in as much as they appear to impose, whether by accident or design, a legal duty on national parliaments "to contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union" by taking part in various described activities. National parliaments, unlike the European Parliament, are not creations of the Treaties and their rights are not dependent on them. In our view, the imposition of such a legal duty on the Parliament of this country is objectionable as a matter of principle and must be resisted.
I would like to point out that the committee are not confident that Gordon Brown's red lines cannot be eroded over time. The BBC News website has a video of the committee's Labour chairman explaining just that.HERE
You can read the full report by clicking HERE.