Monday, 25 February 2008

Lisbon Treaty - Is Nick Clegg making a massive mistake.

I thought the morally bankrupt Lib Dem idea of dodging the Lisbon Treaty referendum question was dead. Their original call for a referendum on membership of the EU (in or out) rather than one on the Treaty was seen universally as fence sitting in its lowest form. However Nick Clegg seems to resurrected this pathetic policy - why? I don't know. Perhaps it's just to grab the headlines, or maybe it's an attempt to muddy the waters of the real debate. The Lib Dems are expected to table a House of Commons motion on Tuesday demanding a public vote on whether Britain stays in the EU. As William Hague points out:
"This is an attempt to paper over the Lib Dems' widening split on a referendum on the renamed EU Constitution. "But the key question remains whether the Liberal Democrats will honour their manifesto promise. The Lisbon Treaty is in substance, nearly identical to, the EU Constitution. "That is what the Lib Dems promised their voters a referendum on. They did not mention an in-out referendum to voters - they have no mandate for one."
I doubt very much that this Lib Dem smokescreen will be agreed to by the House of Commons. And you can bet your house on Clegg counting on that. The motion will fail and Clegg will claim that the Lib Dems backed giving the public a vote whilst the other parties refused. Clegg knows that the majority of the public, both left and right, want to stay in the EU (according to the polls). He believes that if his pathetic motion does by some wild chance get passed and the public do get a referendum on our membership of the EU, we will vote to stay in.

I'm not so sure. The polls say that the majority of the people want to stay in the EU. The polls also say that the people would reject the Lisbon Treaty if given the chance. What the polls do not tell us is this: How the people would vote on membership of the EU if they were refused a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. I'm for staying in the EU as it stands now. However, if we are not allowed a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, I would vote "out" if given a referendum on our membership of the EU. It would be a protest vote. Some would call this petty, but I would call it grasping at the only shred of democracy left to me.

So I hope Clegg gets his "in or out" referendum, because he could get more than he bargained for.

3 comments:

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

I doubt very much that this Lib Dem smokescreen will be agreed to by the House of Commons. And you can bet your house on Clegg counting on that. The motion will fail and Clegg will claim that the Lib Dems backed giving the public a vote whilst the other parties refused.

This is the sort of thing I can't stand in party politics. While Rome burns ...

Robin said...

It might happen. We should get prepared.

Pablo the Scot said...

Gordon may see this as a way to spike the Tories' guns; give them a Referendum but on a subject they definitely don't want. Then sit back and watch as the Tories tie themselves in knots.

If he does, I will vote Out, and not just to spite this obnoxious, self-pious fool. I will vote Out to liberate Britain to once again to become a beacon of liberty and freedom in an increasingly totalitarian world.