Cameron, Farage and the Referendum

In 2007, when Cameron made his “Cast-Iron” guarantee about a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, it was made in the context of an election which was anticipated in 2008. This was probably his greatest political mistake. In not making this abundantly clear that there would be no post-ratification referendum, he opened the door for hysterical Euro obsessives to rant about it ever since.

The fact is the Lib Dems campaigned on an in/out referendum in the election and have blocked one in this parliament. Labour promised a referendum on Lisbon, and then scuttled away, and signed it anyway while he thought no-one was looking. The Tories did everything in their power to stop Lisbon, but once ratified accepted a done deal. None of the parties have a great record on offering a referendum, but only one has not actually gone back on a direct promise. The Tories.

When he finally became Prime Minister in 2010, I think given the state of the country, he can be forgiven for having other priorities than what would be a divisive, time consuming and problematic campaign – ones on which In think the Government has done a good job. The deficit has been cut, the coalition has got out of the way of job creation, and shrunk the state headcount faster than any Government not actively demobilising an army. Discretionary spending has fallen faster than under any Government in peace-time. Basically the coalition is cutting state spending faster than Thatcher did. Free schools are upsetting the teaching unions (a reliable indicator of good policy), private sector involvement in the NHS is a roaring success. This is a very effective government which has performed remarkably well despite a toxic legacy, as usual from an outgoing Labour government.
In doing so, the bubbling Tory discontent on Europe was kept from boiling over. Part of this is due to the fact that, at some considerable political cost, a referendum has been promised should Cameron be PM, and has been legislated for in this parliament. Cameron has said this would be a red-line for Tory involvement in a coalition. There is simply no way Cameron could stay leader of the party and renege on this promise. Even if you think Cameron a dishonest Europhile (and if you think the most Eurosceptic PM this country has ever had is a Europhile, you’re a nincompoop) you must see the weight of opinion in the Tory party will ensure a he sticks to his promise.
The Labour party and Liberal Democrats are NOT offering a referendum. Ultimately, if you want out of the EU, there is only one referendum you will be offered, and that’s by voting Tory in 2015.
Of course ‘KIPpers will say “I don’t believe Cameron’s promise”. If you think this, frankly I don’t care. Your nihilistic stupidity is utterly beyond reach. The real reason for (effectively) opposing a referendum in 2017, is that ‘KIPpers have been pretty effective at polarising opinion on the EU. While there are a lot of people who HATE the EU and want out, yesterday if possible and by next-Thursday at the latest, they’re already voting UKIP. The polls are clear. If the Prime Minister repatriates some powers, and Merkel has indicated she’s happy to go along with some limited renegotiation, the British public will overwhelmingly, if grumpily vote to stay ‘in’. 
Incidentally, the other politician to renege on a promise is Nigel Farage, who promised that he would work with any party to offer an unambiguous referendum promise, probably because he’s rather enjoying riding the Brussels gravy train. UKIP is a major obstacle to its own stated goals, having become much more about race, sex and a general Kulturkapmf by people who feel left behind by the world. UKIP is the party, not for those who really want a referendum: the Tories are for them; UKIP is for people who hanker after 1959, and who REALLY don’t like what the poofters get up to in bed.
So prediction: UKIP will come first tomorrow in the Euros with around mid to high-20’s vote share, Labour second and Tories third. Enjoy crowing. In 2009, UKIP got 16.5% beat Labour into third place, and got less than 3% a year later. Peak UKIP is nigh. The Tories have long expected and planned for this final mid-term kicking and will be delighted it’s not coming from Labour.
5 replies
  1. WitteringsfromWitney
    WitteringsfromWitney says:

    Find me one article that permits renegotiation in the Lisbon Treaty. The only method by which renegotiation is possible is by invoking Article 50.

    The Four Freedoms are not up for renegotiation and a power once ceded will never be returned – for either to happen would be the death knell for the EU. While the EU may be a turkey, it is not going to vote for Christmas.

    If you and the Conservative Party faithful belief Cameron's renegotiation ploy you are bigger fools than you appear.

    Back to the drawing board, Dude, for you obviously know nothing about 'matters EU'!

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Perhaps some modification could be made in light of the Scottish referendum. Never before have I seen such a consistent media onslaught on a political issue. In every major paper and news broadcast the Scottish were told of utter disaster would befall them should they vote "Yes". While I was on the fence before, it's clear now that a referendum where all the parties agree what the result should be before hand means a forgone conclusions. Such a referendum would be counter-productive for anyone who actually wants the UK to leave the EU.


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