Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Referendum for the Lisbon Treaty

David Cameron doesn't want any country to ratify the Lisbon Treaty including the final two countries. Unfortunately all the other countries already have ratified it. Are you starting to think that David Cameron is in a minority? Even in his party there is a split. Eurosceptics are asking for a commitment to a referendum. He won't give it.

I had thought about asking a dozen or so people whether they would vote for a referendum in Britain on the Lisbon treaty but after asking four times I gave up. Nobody knows about this treaty, so let me explain.

If we want to work with neighbouring countries on matters that concern us all then we need a mechanism to do so. The current arrangements were made when there were 15 countries and now there are 27 so we need new arrangements, hence the treaty. It includes a section that shows a commitment to principles like freedom and justice. It paves the way for a permanent president and an EU foreign minister, and there are some changes like the way vetoes work.

The question should not be whether we want a referendum on the management of procedures within the EU. Most people don't have insight into the mechanisms of European government. If we do want to have a referendum it should be concerned with our membership. There are a lot of people who feel we should not be part of the EU. They don't care about details of the Lisbon Treaty. They just want to vote no to Europe. So why not have a referendum on EU membership?

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