"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 13 September 2010

The "Referendum Lock"

It's pointless having a lock on the door of an empty cupboard.  The promised UK Sovereignty Bill is also definitely off the agenda.

From the Mail:
[Europe Minister, David] Lidington said: 'The lock will mean that any future treaty amendment which seeks to transfer power from the UK to Brussels will require a referendum in this country.'
I don't believe him, it's as simple as that. The Lisbon Treaty gave Brussels all the power it needed.  In any event, there will be two hurdles to overcome before any referendum.

From the Telegraph:
British legal advisers in Brussels would determine whether a transfer of power had taken place. MPs would then be given the chance to vote on holding a referendum. If they vote in favour, a referendum would be held.
The Telegraph has also thrown its weight behind the In/Out referendum campaign.

An extract from Lidington's Ministerial Statement:
The Government will introduce a Bill which would require that:
(a) any proposed future EU treaty, agreed by all EU Member States’ governments, including the UK government, which sought to transfer areas of power or competence from the United Kingdom to the European Union would be subject to a referendum of the British people; and,
(b) the use of ratchet clauses or passerelles, provisions in the existing EU Treaties, which allow the rules of the EU to be modified or expand without the need for a formal Treaty change, would require an Act of Parliament before the Government could agree to its use.
Note that passerelles will need only an Act of Parliament, not a referendum.

Douglas Carswell asks whether we're being taken for fools.

A 'political strategist'  explains why we don't need a referendum and is given a royal kicking in the comments.

Lidington interview:

Hannan explains why we need an In/Out referendum:

In other news today:
Government cancels 2011 Queen's Speech - an urgent question will be asked in the House later today.
Mark Andrews released on bail pending appeal
Lawyer smokes pages of the Bible & the Koran - YouTube delete video
A special investigation committee, known popularly as the Truth Commission, recommended that Geir Haarde, the former prime minister, stand trial, along with Björgvin Sigurdsson, the former minister of commerce, and Árni Mathiesen, the former minister of finance.

It found during an 18-month inquiry that the three men showed recklessness in their handling of Iceland's financial crisis, which brought down its three banks and crippled the currency in October 2008.
If only we had a similar legal mechanism in the UK.

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