More news on yesterday’s post that David Cameron could offer the referendum that Labour promised and then failed to deliver.
The latest news is on the possibility of a Referendum is really encouraging:
First, it appears that this section of the Treaty is simply not subject to passerelle.
Second, even if it was, passerelle requires the unanimous agreement of every member state – and every state has the right to demand an InterGovernmental Conference and ratification instead. Britain would have a veto, and it would be in total conflict with David Cameron’s new EU policy for a Cameron Government not to use it.
Third, even if this area was subject to passerelle, and even if the British Government failed to use the veto and demand an IGC, Spain has already demanded one. Furthermore, the European Parliament looks set to vote in Spain’s support on Thursday, and the European Commission is in agreement too.
Beyond those technical, Brussels-derived arguments, there is also a compelling bit of evidence from an unlikely source here in Britain.
I spoke last night to Bruno Waterfield, the Brussels Correspondent for the Telegraph. He confirmed to me that he had checked the story with no less an authority than the Foreign Office, who had confirmed the need for Parliamentary approval of the new Treaty. Full story here
Neither Brown nor Clegg could be trusted to do anything but give more of our constitutional powers away to Brussels, Labour promised a referendum on Lisbon and broke that promise and Europhile does not even come close to describing Clegg.
Due to various procedural changes, the Lisbon Treaty is going to have to be ratified by Parliament yet again after the General Election. David Cameron has always been explicit that had he been Prime Minister when the Treaty came forward for ratification, he would have held a referendum. Until now that has simply been a hypothetical situation – but now it is set to become a reality.
If, as the EU Commission intends, an Inter-Governmental Conference on 17th/18th June agrees a new version of the Lisbon Treaty, it will have to be put before Parliament. Will David Cameron remain true to his pledges on the topic and seize this opportunity by pledging to hold a referendum in that circumstance? Full Story here