Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Change Of Conservative Policy? I Don't Think So

Open Europe, in their press summary yesterday, reported on an interview given by Mark Francois to Der Spiegel. The first part of Francois' quoted statement does not contain anything new, but the second part of his statement is, one can suggest, nothing but 'double-speak'.

His words: “We do not exclude that. We will talk about the details, when the time has come....." means absolutely nothing. Either the Conservative Party will hold a retrospective referendum or they will not as there is no other option, unless of course they fall back on their previous line of 'trying to change Europe from within'. This statement can only be seen as a cynical attempt to garner votes from those Eurosceptics who may be considering voting for the only party (UKIP) that advocates political withdrawal and reversion to that which those who voted for the Common Market thought they were getting, namely a trading relationship.

Returning to the first part of the report, Francois' statement:
“...if Lisbon enters into force before we are in Government, we will not just let it rest. The Treaty does not have democratic legitimacy in Great Britain, and we will not accept it as a fait accompli.” is another example of vacuousness on the part of his party. If Francois is saying that the Conservative Party "....will not just let it rest." and that "we will not accept it as a fait accompli" then they must have a clear plan in mind, otherwise the statement is meaningless - which won't be the first time that has happened!

Today in Parliament, David Cameron made great play on the fact that Gordon Brown would not give a simple yes/no answer to his questions. So come on, Mr Cameron - let us have a straight answer, yes or no on the following questions:

1. Will the Conservative Party hold a post ratification referendum, were the Treaty of Lisbon in force and you and your party form the next government?

2. If holding a referendum, will the questions be (a) complete withdrawal or (b) a trading relationship with the EU, in other words no political interference?

3. If, as your Shadow Spokesman Mark Francois says,
"The Treaty does not have democratic legitimacy in Great Britain" how can you not hold a referendum, regardless of whether the Treaty of Lisbon has been ratified or not?

4. If you concur with the statement of Mark Francois, is not this a complete repudiation of your own view - as you have put in writing - that you believe it would be wrong for Britain to leave the EU?

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