If Mr. Cameron accepts, as is implicit in his observation, that the presidency of the EU Council (which is established by the Treaty of Lisbon) is de facto the presidency of a federal Europe, how can he and the Conservative party conceivably resist giving the people of the United Kingdom a referendum on the Treaty even if it is post-ratification? And would it not be better for him to clarify now what his policy is concerning the Treaty if he comes to power after it is ratified and is in force?
Cameron and Hague both continue to shilly-shally on this topic which makes many suspect that they will seek to avoid the issue if they can, knowing that a vote then to reject the Treaty would open up the whole issue of our membership of the EU at a stroke.
Which brings me to this further thought. If the Treaty is ratified and comes into force, will this ultimately redound to the benefit of the argument against our membership of the European Union?
The Treaty will enter into force in the UK in circumstances where the British people have been denied the right promised to them by almost every candidate at the 2005 general election to have their say upon it. As such it will come into force encumbered by the considerable baggage of all the resentment that Labour and the Lib ‘Dems’ will have generated against it by their cheating, dishonourable and dishonest abjuration of their 2005 manifesto promise to hold a referendum. In addition it will be seen (and all should strive manfully thus to portray the Treaty) as having, in the circumstances, no democratic legitimacy whatsoever.
By then the extensive scope of the EU’s ambition will have become that much clearer and the nature of the power which it wields by virtue of the Treaty will have been displayed. From that we will have begun to see just how fundamental have been the cessions of power and sovereignty implicit in the Treaty. We shall have had exposed to us the extent of the mendacity of the Browns, the Milibands, the Murphys, the Clarkes, the McShanes and the Cleggs. In addition, arrogant and triumphalist federasts will feel unable to restrain themselves and will quickly begin to speak of the grandiose plans they have for yet more power grabs. Hopefully too some Diktat will have been forced into our law against the wishes of our Government and the interests of the United Kingdom.
In those circumstances it is possible to believe that the British public’s sentiment can be so thoroughly roused and inflamed against the EU that a huge majority is obtained against the Treaty, so huge that the government is forced substantially to renegotiate our entire relationship. Thus might tonight labour be sowing the seeds of our withdrawal from the EU.
Would not that be a delicious irony?
Meanwhile Nick Clegg continues to pop up all over the place, keen to display his convoluted policy on the EU referendum to anyone with the stamina. The more often I hear him expound it, the more confused I become as to exactly what the policy is and what its logic is. He performs badly under pressure and has a thin reedy weak voice which does not exactly inspire confidence. And his performance at PMQs is utterly unimpressive, to put it at its highest. He continues, however, to dig deep the hole into which he has got himself and the chances are that he will come out of this looking weak and devious. Which is what he is.