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Live surely?

Brown; 3.5 million UK jobs depend on our membership - utter nonesense and lies

Cameron seems to be on top form today :-)

(Not using the new fancy live reporting software editor?)

Clegg is losing the plot...

Clegg is also shedding members of his team if rumours are to be believed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2008/03/lib_dem_resignation.html

Yet more rubbish about cuts Boris is going to make. If he's in the chamber I imagine we'll be getting another point of order...

Brown has the acting right now - but not the words. Of course most of the jobs he goes on about were filled by foreigners. Ireland is still having a referendum and the Lisbon Treaty is the EU Constitution. Still his self deception is coming along well isn't it.

Clegg was a disaster and Brown squashed him easily.

All in all a good performance by Brown (except in the honesty dept ), okay from Cameron and an absolute disaster from Clegg.

Nick Clegg is fooling nobody with his in/out referendum smokescreen.

The Lib Dems promised a rerendum on the constitutional Lisbon Treaty and they're now breaking that promise by not voting with Conservatives for that referendum.

Lib Dems must regret the day they elected such a spineless leader!

Referendum? The stuttering communist Jock dictator of England says no!.

Jobs may very well depend on trade, you do NOT have to be a member of the EUSSR to trade with the EUSSR! - lies and propaganda by the Jock, by the way Broon, YOUR country scotland CAN HAVE THE not-a-constitution-but-a-treaty-constitution!, just get the hell out of ENGLAND YOUR NOT WANTED!.

McLabour OUT by landslide at the next genereal election!.

Hahaha.

Clegg is such a tit. Note to Clegg: Listen to what has gone before and be prepared to change your lines.

Vince Cable needs to take lil' Cleggy round the back for a damn good kicking.

Gosh, what original and eruditely expressed ideas, Steve.

You can leave the EU and have no say in its decision making or reform if you like. As Norway, you will find that in trade you end up complying with its regulations without having any sway over them.

It strikes me that Norway and Switzerland are nonetheless more than happy with their current arrangements.

Cameron did as much as he could before tonights vote.Better late than never.

This will drag on if the Lords gets its act together and could still be unresolved by the next General Election. Then if Cameron is kept up to the mark by the grassroots - it can become an election issue. But look round the chamber and examine the calibre of MP from all parties - has it ever been lower ?

Anyone know when the vote is likely to be? When will we know how many Lab and Lib MPs have rebelled against their leaders?

Yes, but...

Brown is surely correct in implying that the proper Tory position is where the LibDems affected to stand:
either --
in the EU with the Lisbon Treaty;
or --
out of the whole damn thing.

We know where the likes of Anne Winterton would want to be: re-running 1975 again-and-again until the British people got it right. That is an honourable stand: it is at least consistent with long-held convictions. To argue that Lisbon is somehow a more significant development that all previous Treaties and accords and fudges (taken separately or as an aggregation) is not.

Our present posture is becoming increasingly uncomfortable and, ultimately, untenable. There is no hope of continued EU membership without Lisbon. There is precious little chance of any renegotiation, except to achieve a different form of (dis)association with the EU -- and that means OUT!

Which is all well and good, ED. But the fact is that the LDs only adopted this position to save face, and in a cowardly fashion. This is an issue where you have to take each step as it comes, and this current step is Lisbon. The Conservative position is on it clear, but the LD one is a fiasco. Surely that is the most important thing at this time?

Ellesmere - re OUT! and that is a bad thing?

Nick Clegg is fooling nobody with his in/out referendum smokescreen.

The only smokescreen on this issue is the "promised" referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which people on here keep banging on about.

Aside from a few anti-EU zealots, no-one in the general public has the slightest knowledge of what's in the Treaty and how it benefits Britain. (Too many points to rehearse here - check out earlier threads.) Time and again we see vox pops on the news with people saying "Well, I think I should have a say, it's not right to leave it to the politicians". Then on the follow up question "Do you know anything about what's in the Treaty?" comes the answer "Well, er... no."

Referendums are blunt instruments. I for one am not happy to see my country's destiny decided by an ignorant mass who get their information and opinions from the Daily Mail. Most people voting in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will NOT think "Do I want to the UK to ratify this Treaty?". They'll think "Do I want the UK to stay in the EU?" and will vote accordingly. That is the real agenda behind this "I want a Referendum" hysteria. At least Clegg is brave enough to offer a referendum on the true question.

If you want the UK out of the EU, vote for UKIP or one of the other loony fringe groups, but STOP hijacking the most successful political party in Europe on a single issue obsession.

Cameron did well.
He can't get answers, but he made his points clearly and highlighted Brown's hypocrisy in a measured and open manner.


Cameron did well.
He can't get answers, but he made his points clearly and highlighted Brown's hypocrisy in a measured and open manner.


How odd that John Hayes didn't ask a question. Leastways not in this thread's account at any rate.

With apologies if this attempt to post a link fails, and anticipating a certain amount of Treaty/Constitution hair-splitting in the author's defence, this article from 2003 made me smile:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/oct/15/politicalcolumnists.eu

Ephraim,

"The public are too thick" line does not wash. The people realise that a referendum would be all about staying as we are or further integration into the EU. And before you come out with the rubbish about the EU going ahead without us - don't bother. The Treaty must be ratified by all 27 member states.

"Referendums are blunt instruments. I for one am not happy to see my country's destiny decided by an ignorant mass who get their information and opinions from the Daily Mail. "

Well that would be an improvement rather than having our country's future decided by a bunch of ignorant MP's who have never read the treaty, never bothered to attend the debates about the treaty, and only voted the way they have because Gordon Brown told them to vote that way.

To 'Ephraim Gadsby' 13.48 - What a petty, sneering post and what a low opinion you have of the British electorate. How nasty. I, as one of those you despise, have actually read the Lisbon Treaty (isn't the internet a wonderful thing?) and cross-referenced with earlier treaties, and I can tell you I don't like it at all. Better Off Out! (And by the way, my favourite newspaper is the Telegraph).

Ephraim,

You may be right that the public aren't generally informed about what the treaty involves but if that is the case, it is because the issue has not been discussed in sufficient detail by the media, the newspapers, or any of the three major parties. What a referendum campaing WOULD do is allowed the issues to be heard and debated over by politicians, commentators, experts and the general public. It would be a way of really informing the people about the EU for good or bad.

Personally, I believe that once they saw what this treaty invovled the treaty was be rejected in a referendum. We know that this treaty has not been given proper scrutiny by the Commons (24 hours in Committee compared to 163 over Maastricht) and a nationa-wide referendum campaign would get people interested in politics and would help inform them and get them to inform themselves rather than having things imposed on them from on high.

I, as one of those you despise, have actually read the Lisbon Treaty

Susan, I don't despise anyone, and anyway if you've read the Lisbon Treaty then my comments were not directed at you - you have obviously reached your view in an informed way, having looked at the evidence; great, I respect that even if I come to a different conclusion.

My main point is that most people don't and won't go to the effort you have gone to. And therefore they will be voting in complete ignorance at best or media-spun twisted propaganda at worst.

And my secondary point - if you indeed feel the UK is Better Off Out, then fine. But that's not Conservative Party policy, and never will be, so you're in the wrong place. BOO supporters should be voting for UKIP, leaving the Conservatives free to appeal to the mainstream electorate across a broad range of policies.

SOLUTION
Lets have a referendum with 2 questions
1) Do you approve the Lisbon Treaty yes/no
2) Do you wish to remain a member of the EU yes/no

We all knoiw that most of our fellow Conservatives want out of this socailaist plot (EU integration). It is only fair if we ask both questions. Who on earth would disagree with that.

Problem solved!

Ephraim 15.27 - I take your point and apologise for my over-harsh tone above. I still believe that 'most' people would take the time to find out what they were voting for, possibly a sign of optimism over experience. However, a referendum is not being offered by the government but at least the current debate in the House has lifted the profile of the treaty in the media.

Regarding voting for UKIP? Never in a month of Sundays - a completely wasted vote in my opinion; I prefer the devil I know and trust DC when he says he will 'not let matters rest'. Given there is little chance of removing ourselves, I would rather be in the EU with a Conservative government than any other option.

Andrew Spencer @ 15.18 You say that - ... a nation-wide referendum campaign would get people interested in politics and would help inform them and get them to inform themselves rather than having things imposed on them from high.'

Whilst I agree with what you say, I have to say that, it ain't going to happen! Why? because the very thing you are talking about is what those 'on high' do not wish to happen, they DO NOT wish the electorate to be interested in politics or a referendum, this government wishes, and is determined - at least he who is to be obeyed - that all decisions will only be made by those in charge of the country!!!

Mind you it could be said that this governments idea of being in charge of the country - our country, is much the same as the man in the funfair being in charge of the roller-coaster!!

Thank you, David at 13:28 and MikeA at 13:29. It's nice to feel that someone is listening, rather than foaming/mouthing off.

No: the LibDem posture is not a fiasco: it's a calculated move to cover two irreconcilables -- a commitment to a Referendum and an absolute desire to see it fail. That two-faced attitude, typical to a fault, needs repeatedly to be exposed, as it has been here.

However, that is precisely where the Conservative position should have been. As I understand, the hierarchy are implying (I don't trust them far enough to say "believing") that Lisbon is the ultimate step-too-far. Therefore, if Lisbon is integral to the EU-agenda, it is a constitutional matter beyond Parliament, for the people to decide. In which case, we are either IN or OUT. Anything else is too refined to be expressed as a YES/NO referendum question accessible to the masses.

To be honest, I feel that the self-interests of those with close access to Eurostar and St Pancras could just outvote the rest of the UK (though expect a closer vote in NI and Scotland, for different reasons): but it would be overall one heck of a lot closer than 1975, and well worth the effort. Of course, if the economic wheel really comes off, anything goes ...

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