Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cameron Underlines EU Referendum Commitment

David Cameron's speech yesterday hit a number of the right notes with party activists. What hasn't yet been reported were the four extra lines he added to his speech at the last minute making clear his total commitment to a referendum on any new EU treaty which gives Brussels further powers. Very welcome.


Anonymous said...


Wasn't it biker dave who committed to pulling the Euro MPs out of the federalist group they belong to?

And wasn't it the one and the same biker dave who reneged on said promise?

Simon Harley said...

Well, at least thanks to you Iain at least the sop to the activists was highlighted on Newsnight last night. I wonder how many actually noticed it?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right and about time too.

Anonymous said...

Er.. what does Dave do if the vote is "yes" by a narrow margin? Take us in?

This is silly. A referendum is to obtain the electorates APPROVAL for a major government policy. If Dave calls a referendum on the EU constitution, he is effectively saying *he* supports it and is seeking the electorates approval.

If he truly believes in not handing any more powers over to Europe, why not just refuse to sign any new treaty whatsover which hands over more power to Brussels?

Better still negotiate a new treaty for the UK which repatriates some of the powers he claims to cherish.

Bob Piper said...

....and we know he always keeps his promises to the party faithful on european matters.

Anonymous said...

As a leftie (No, not NuLab), I see there's a lot of understandable cynicism on here about Cameron's promise. Even so, I'm pleased to see he said it.

Old BE said...


the point is that by promising a referendum he immediately makes his bargaining position stronger - because the other EU countries know perfectly well the treaty would have to be clearly in Britain's interest for a yes vote to be secured.

The Blair (and to some extent Major) policy was to try and "sell" whatever was agreed to the electorate - Cameron has indicated that he would be only sign up to things which were a good idea. That is quite a shift in policy (in the right direction)

Anonymous said...

What a hypocrite! It was his party that took us into the EEC in 1973 with no referendum. It was his party that took us into the EU in 1992 with no referendum (as a result of the "Iron Lady's" signature). The only referendum we've ever had was called by Labour in 1975 to see if we should remain a member.

It's easy to huff and puff from opposition though isn't it?

Mike Wood said...

Bob, you're on shaky ground talking about broken promises on Europe:

Anonymous said...

"added at the last minute"

That say it all.

Anonymous said...

And says it all!

Anonymous said...

Dave on Europe - the conversion of Paul on the road to Damsacus??
I'll believe it when I see it.

I used to think that Thatcher had been stabbed in the back because of the Poll Tax. Now though, with the passage of time, it seems that it was her increasing Eurosceptic stance that did for her. And the same forces that wielded the knife then are still in the Tory Party now.

Neville would be proud of the Europhiles.

Anonymous said...

I suppose there is a possibility that he means what he says for once.

Perhaps he is being honest and was just too spineless to put it in his speech until effectively he got the nod from the 'Clunking Fist's' acolytes spinning that GB would call a referendum.

On the other hand it might be just a knee jerk 'me too' in response to the GB spin.

Sadly I can't take anything biker dave says as necessarily true.

I wish somebody would start an 'Integrity Party'. I'd vote for them pretty well regardless of policy.

Begone damned spinners (the true TBliar legacy).

Bob Piper said...

Mike Wood.... have you ever thought about downloading tiny url. Try it at http://www.tiny.cc/

Mike Wood said...

Bob, thanks for the tip. No I hadn't thought of using it but I will now.

Anonymous said...

On the left, on the blog, there is a banner which says I can buy Castlepoint Labour MP.
Can they all be bought or are most of them already sold?

Johnny Norfolk said...

If cameron wants to win the next election he should offer a referendum on our future in Europe come what may. We could then decide as a country once and for all. John major should have done it.

Those of us who voted to go in in the first place were told we were voting for a free trade area and nothing more. So the people of Britain have never been asked if we wanted a United States of Europe.

David Lindsay said...

What "further powers"? "Thanks" to Heath, Thatcher and Major (above all, "thanks" to Thatcher), there are pretty much no "further powers" left to transfer to the EU.

Instead, Cameron should be promising a significant transfer of power back from the EU to Britain: the restoration of the supremacy of British over EU law, the use of this to restore our historic fishing rights in accordance with international law, no EU legislation to apply in the United Kingdom unless and until passed by both Houses of Parliament exactly as if it had originated in either of them, and the British adoption of the show-stopping Empty Chair policy until the Council of Ministers meets in public and publishes an Official Report akin to Hansard.

And he should be promising comparable (indeed, closely related) significant transfers of power back to Britain from NATO, from the United States, from the World Trade Organisation, from the International Monetary Fund, and from the World Bank.

He won't. But where are the politicians who will indeed promise these transfers, and will indeed deliver them? Where is their party? That that party does not yet exist is, dear reader, our own fault: yours and mine. Only we can create it. I'm doing my bit. What are you doing?

Tapestry said...

Cameron promised on the EPP. Hague broke the promise.

Hague is waffling about the referendum on the Constitution. Cameron is not. Hague's words are consistent with Merkel's deception and signalling to Brown that he'll fix the Conservatives as regards a referendum promise.

Cameron's words are completely clear and are totally in favour of a referendum if any powers are proposed to be moved to Brussels. No ifs, whens, or buts.

Hague will not be allowed to dictate party policy on this as he was able to on the EPP question.

Cameron's confidence is rising. He won't allow Hague to mess up his policy on Europe a second time.

Anonymous said...

"Cameron promised on the EPP. Hague broke the promise."

If that is true, then why did Cameron send out a newsletter to the party faithful entitled "pledge delivered" on the day he, er, broke his pledge and decided to, cough, 'delay' the exit from the EPP?

How can Hague have broken a promise that Cameron publicly declared had been delivered?

I think you need a new angle Tap to defend Dave before the countdown begins...

Tapestry said...

Cameron window dressed, Chad. What choice did he have? Hague was the one who could have pulled us out of the EPP, and he failed to deliver. Hague has since gone about ensuring europhile meps cannot be voted out of the Conservative delegation.

Cameron did not want a eurorow, to assist his enemies in portraying him as the next euro-obsessive tory so he played the EPP issue into the long grass.

On the occasion of the Con-Treaty now under discussion, Hague's referendum 'promise' is noticeably less strong than Cameron's words. My opinion, if you will allow me to express such a thing, is that Hague has for a long time been playing eurosceptic while in fact being complaint with ever closer European union.

His policy of 'keep the pound for one parliament' in 2001 was in fact a policy to axe the pound, but for some reason Conservatives didn't notice. Hague is a committed longstanding member of the Bildeberg group.

Cameron has not arse licked the EU, or Rupert Murdoch or Bush. He could have had a much easier run if he had played the corruption game and got these powerful forces aligning behind him. I give him credit for this.

He will fight hard for a referendum on the Contreaty, and Hague will not be able to block him adopting the right policy on this occasion.

Hague is the most deceptive operator in British politics. Blair's a traitor but he's entirely open about his treachery without a seeming glimmer of a conscience. Hague keeps his treachery secret and acts with far more stealth than Gordon Brown.

Cameron's done the right thing to keep Hague close, but he will not allow him to dictate his policy on Europe, now the crunch moment is here.

Have faith Chad.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Norfolk 2:44pm
If cameron wants to win the next election he should offer a referendum on our future in Europe...

Once into No.10 the left of the Tory party would soon arrange a quick U-turn.
If you really want change on the EU you'll need to support UKIP.

Anonymous said...

Portillo is now a clear europhile, and the reason is simple to see - he has directorships of companies that need to sweet-talk the EU.

Presumably the same is true of Hague (?)

Anonymous said...

A referendum on staying in/leaving the EU would pull in enough UKIP votes to give Dave a chance against Brown - and he's really have a policy!

Gavin Ayling said...

I misread "underlines" as "undermines"... Must... read... more... carefully...

Anonymous said...

I was delighted with Cameron's unequivocal statement about this. Blimey, if he continues to speak like this I might have to end up liking him again.