Daniel Hannan in his blog on 25th. October in the Telegraph has arrived at the same point that I reached as long ago as 19th. October. This is that the promise made by David Cameron in the Sun at the end of September by way of ‘cast-iron guarantee’, namely “If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations” is about to be trashed.

He makes the right point but perhaps with insufficient vigour which is that this backtracking by Mr. Cameron will be seen by the voters for what it is: an act of surrender being planned in advance of a battle during which the electorate will be told ‘we will fight to the end”.

Mr. Hannan unfortunately has not drawn the attention of his readers as to why this should be so. As I have pointed out, once the Treaty comes into force a whole new legal ball game begins. The only way in which it can be unpicked then is by renegotiation (which is simply not going to happen) or by derogation which means that we would have to notify the Union that we withdraw from the Treaty. The effect of that is that we would be signifying our withdrawal from the Union, something which is nor Conservative Party policy.

Mr. Cameron has no doubt been advised by his legal people that this is so. Unfortunately he made a clear promise on 26th. September to the Sun which encompasses, clearly, a referendum on the Treaty whether ratified or in force. He is now trying to resile from that position. Many will think that that is as dishonourable as anything Brown has thus far done and will be seen as fundamentally dishonest. Nor will they be impressed by so rapid a U-Turn that the hand brake is still smoking.

The Political Elite, The Nabobs, have decided that, whatever we, The Little People, might think or want, we shall not have, because our views do not matter or count. That we might be in a majority simply does not figure. Or, as Marie-Antionette is reputed to have observed:

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche !*

And we all know where that got her, do we not ?

*Let them eat Cake!

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