Saturday, 3 October 2009

So No Change There Then

David Cameron has issued this as part of a general statement prior to his party's conference opening in Manchester.

"This weekend we will hear the results of the referendum in Ireland on the re-named EU Constitution. I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve. I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a ‘No’ vote. If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen."

So the Czech Constitutional Court 'could take 3-6 months to resolve' yet the General election we all know will be held on the first Thursday in May 2010 which is 7 months away.

With regard to 'we have one policy at a time', what happened to the policy outlined in 2007, Mr. Cameron? Remember "Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM, a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations."?

It does appear that like the wind, Conservative policy changes without any obvious reason! 

Update: Just seen this in the Times - talk about 'sitting on the fence and confusing the issue! Would the Tories consider holding a wider referendum that would cover issues beyond the Lisbon treaty? “Clearly there are a number of options for the type of referendum — I am not ruling anything out.” and then “I don’t think this will be the most prominent issue in the conference or election campaign but people would like to have their say.” Exactly - what 'type of referendum' and 'have their say' on what?

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