Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tory turmoil over EU as Ireland says Yes to Lisbon treaty.

David Cameron had hoped that the Tory conference in Manchester this week would be a showcase for his "government in waiting", but the Irish yes vote for the Lisbon Treaty threatens to bring out all of the Euro sceptic demons which tore apart the government's of both Thatcher and John Major.

In one way you could be forgiven for thinking that if the Lisbon Treaty becomes law before Cameron takes office then he has managed to avoid a headache, but some Tories are determined that Britain must have a referendum - even if the Lisbon treaty has been ratified into law - and, should the British public vote no, that Britain should withdraw from the Lisbon treaty and - to all intents and purposes - cease to be members of the EU.

Cameron has only gone as far as to promise a referendum should the treaty not be ratified by the time he gains power, but the Irish yes vote now makes that appear unlikely. And already his party's rancid Euroscepticism is beginning to show it's face.

In an intervention that will anger the Tory leader, Johnson [the Tory Mayor of London] said in a Sunday Times interview that voters in this country would be "jealous" of their Irish counterparts if they were denied a say and made clear a vote should be held, even if the treaty had already been rubber-stamped. "I do think it would be right for such a debate to be held, particularly if the upshot of the Lisbon treaty is going to produce President Blair," Johnson said.

Richard Shepherd, a senior Conservative MP and long-time eurosceptic, said holding a referendum was a matter of "honour" and "trust" because the Tories had promised to give the people a say on the Constitutional treaty, which was then reborn as the Lisbon treaty, in their last election manifesto.

The eurosceptic Bruges Group said: "If David Cameron is serious about becoming prime minister then he must show leadership and announce that a retrospective referendum will be held in Britain. This will rule the Lisbon treaty null and void in the UK and withdraw us from its provisions."

But the party's pro-European wing insisted such a move would destroy the UK's relations with the EU, and raise questions about whether it could remain a member. Sir Leon Brittan, the former Tory home secretary and UK commissioner in Brussels, said it would be "ludicrous" to hold a referendum when all 27 member states had ratified the treaty. "You cannot expect the others to untangle the whole treaty. It would be a great error for a new British government to get into this position."

Speaking as someone who loathes the Tory party, I must say I always find it very funny when the subject of Europe starts tearing these buggers apart and the little Englanders start showing their rampant xenophobia.

But, of course, Cameron has only managed to keep the subject of Europe quiet on his own backbenches because he has gotten into bed with some of the most insane right wingers that exist in the European Union. He has maintained the peace by playing to the Euroscepticism of his own party. But with this Irish yes vote, his own party will very likely tear itself apart over this.

Cameron has even gone as far as to state that he will not be making any announcements regarding Europe during the party conference, meaning he does not intend to be bounced into promising a referendum should the Lisbon Treaty be law once he gains power. But that won't please the grass-roots of the party:

The extent of Conservative grass-roots pressure was laid bare yesterday in a poll of Tory members for that showed more than eight out 10 wanted a referendum, even if the treaty had been approved by the time of the next election.

About 39% of the Tories polled wanted the UK to leave the EU altogether. A separate poll by YouGov for Compass, a centre-left pressure group, found that 75% of Tory voters wanted a referendum.

Cameron, like Thatcher and Major before him, is about to find out just how divisive the subject of Europe is amongst the xenophobic little Englanders who make up the majority of the Conservative party.

Click title for full article.


constant gina said...

You're right, it's intolerable. This will push some people to declare UDI.

Kel said...

I don't find it intolerable, I find it hysterical. If you think a Declaration of Independence is where we should be going, at a time when Europe is uniting, I say good luck with that.

Let's see an independent UK squashed between the interests of the US, Europe and Russia. Or do you think that we are important enough that there is a guarantee that our views would be listened to under those circumstances?

Cameron has currently tied us to Latvia and Poland. I mean, they are world players aren't they?