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David Cameron will eventually have to show all his cards on this issue. He is right to focus on attacking Brown for now, but he will have to declare what a future Conservative government will do about the Treaty when it comes to power at some point.

DC should make a bald statement that if the Treaty is not subject to a UK referendum then it would be viewed as having no validity by an incoming Conservative Government. All co-operation with the EU will be suspended until after a referendum and if the treaty is not approved by the public the suspension of co-operation will continue until a total opt out of all its provisions and a retpatriation of powers is agreed with a new working arrangement.

This would really put Brown on the spot - the EU too.

Time for Britain to act like an independent sovereign nation and to hell with the EU.

Yes, a tricky situaiton here for Cameron. The results of the survey sound about right. But with the closeness of the top 3/4 selections, it doesnt say an almighty lot.

The Conservative Party would have far more credibility if it stated that it would give a referendum on the Treaty even if this government ratifies it without one. No government can bind its successor - so there is no reason why they cannot do it. Failure to do so makes them appear half-hearted.

Repatriation is impossible. The Commission realises that if Britain was to renegotiate, other Member States would try to do (i.e. EU a la carte). All the Commision needs to do is to get one Member State to refuse to ratify (or veto) the renegotiation treaty (or agreement).

As usual, the quisling Eurosceptics like Bernard Jenkin are looking for a face-saving "compromise". They will not face up to reality. Forget renegotiation, the choice is to accept the EU Super-State or get out. Peter Bone did signed up to Better Off Out. He is man of principle, unlike Jenkin.

The original EU referendum was held subsequent to ratification in Parliament.

My God we are idiots aren't we...

Much as Malcolm Rifkind's tone was irritating when he recently commented on post-ratification renegotiation he was strictly correct. There is no point.

As such, if Brown pushes the treaty through the house then the next step must be for us, finally, to adopt the policy of "Better Off Out". There is no middle ground. We either sign up wholeheartedly to the project or wave goodbye.

I think that a lot of posters share BW @ 10.37's views - sounds a very sensible approach!

This is an issue which, for sound political reasons, the leadership shouldn't address unless the treaty is raftified. Committing to it at this stage would be a mistake, and comments to the contrary from any wing of the party are very unhelpful at this stage.

Leaving the EU is a pipe-dream. You'd lose a referendum, which is why Ming was keen on diverting attention by proposing one.
We will have the opportunity to mould the EU nearer to our wishes when matters come up next time as part of negotiations. The transfer of more powers to Brussels is not inevitable. To do that we need to be in power. Mere posturing and taking extreme positions stands in the way of that.

Why would the EU care if a Conservative government were to refuse cooperation? They will not need our cooperation as QMV gets them pretty much all they want, with support from the Court.

And the promise by Haig of a referendum and by Brown of no more Treaties is just hot air. This self-amending arrangement and the huge increase in competencies means they won't need another Treaty. And Brown & Haig know this - they are being untruthful with the people by making such meaningless promises.

Who wants to run a book on the outcome of the 2009 Euro elections? Anyone think Labour will increase their votes? LibDems? Or Tories?

With reference to this incompetent Nulab govenments admission that the current number of working immigrants in this country is 1.1 million, 300,000 more than the original figure.
I,ve been watching the "Daily Politics" their research department has come up with a startling fact that the figure is not 1.1 million but 1.5 million.
They found this from 2 sources, a parliamentary answer from the home office in uly and the same figure from the statisitical department.
Its a shame Bottler Brown did not go through with his General Election on Thursday then this incompetent, rotten labour government would have been thrown out of power because their governance is turning our great country into a Monty Python style farce.

Terry @ 1239 "We will have the opportunity to mould the EU nearer to our wishes when matters come up next time as part of negotiations."
There won't BE a next time. This treaty ensures that by including a provision for no more treaties just "stitch-ups" in the Council out of sight of the voters.

I am not quite sure why the blog’s editor might think Conservatives are not going to be pleased with this and why he was so negative on "Today". As a would-be Tory voter, and a past life-long activist I’m delighted. I only wish the leadership had as much backbone as the members show!

"The Tories are in danger of talking too much about Europe and should focus on the NHS, crime and other bread and butter issues"

Am I alone in worrying that only 29% of respondents realise this?

Tim R-P, yes.

It’s extraordinary that around 60% want to promise to undo the Treaty without having a clue how to deliver that promise. Politicians get crucified for that sort of thing.

That said, I’m certainly up for debate on Europe. However, the range of opinion cannot be reduced to two tick boxes. In the range of EU competencies, I’m strongly for some and against others – but, like yours, my list of preferences will not be the same as his, hers or theirs. How can we translate this range of opinion into a democratic outcome?

First, we need a wealth of campaign groups to argue their cases. (We cannot leave the argument solely in the hands of Murdoch, C4, ITV and the BBC.) I'd be happy for them to be publicly funded.

Then we need a referendum that delivers far more than a Yes or No. It must drill into the list of EU competencies, finding which we agree with and which we don’t.

Next we unilaterally opt in / out of the competencies we do / don’t want.

Finally we put this matter to bed.

Andrew Smith rightly focuses on the most sinister self-amending aspect of the frightening new Treaty (=Constitution). Yet this part of the Treaty is hardly mentioned in the MSM.
However, our power to renegotiate or resile from the Treaty could be considerable. We only need a government prepared to use our contribution to this flawed organisation as a bargaining counter.

Why did the survey not ask if we wanted out?

Below, from the 1975 Gov. pamphlet:

Fact No. 3. The British Parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973. Thus our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament.

It is possible for the Tories to de-ratify the treaty if in place when coming to power.

Cannot understand editor`s remark "..answers to the questions on the EU treaty may be less encouraging". Replies seem pretty clear to me. Vast majority want it scrapped full stop.

Why doesn't Cameron want what the members want?

Of course there should be a referendum on the current EU constitutional treaty (of Lisbon) once the Tories return to power, whether the Brown government has signed it or not. Assuming that there will be a reasonably easy win when the referendum is actually held, then a Tory government should state clearly during ther referendum what parts of the EU pie it wants to share, & what parts it rejects.

Will there be any EU opposition to this? You bet there will be as first the EU tries its usual bribe-&/or-blackmail routine against our politicians & opinion-formers (ie mainly journalists). Why will the EU fight so hard? Because it will be a serious loss to the EU to lose its 2nd biggest economy & currently the world's 5th biggest one, plus a permanent member of the UN Security Council, & worst of all a net contributor to the EU's annual budget of UKL6 billion!

That's UKL10 billion paid in but only about UKL4 billion received back each year! So we can be pretty sure that the EU will play every dirty trick in the book to protect that, & also to discourage any other current members getting similar independent thoughts (eg Denmark, Holland, the Czech republic, Poland etc)!

So what would a Tory-governed UK's negotiation angle be? It would be: Give us what we want, including the right to opt in & out of anything we like, when we like, as often as we like, regardless of the inconvenience to the other EU members, or otherwise NO MORE MONEY! And if they don't accept that, just let's GO! Leaving the EU to stew in its own greedy, self-serving, & incompetent juice! How about that? Sounds good enough to me!

I listened to 'the Record' last night on BBC Parliament (sad I know).

It encompassed a procession of MEP's (interspersed with comments from the excellent Daniel Hannan and the usual vitriol from Nigel Farage) effectively saying that we British Eurosceptics are Brown's problem and that pro-europeans will carry on down the road to integration regardless.

When asked about Brown's pledge not to allow further constitutional change for at least 10 years, one green MEP's (she made Tessa Jowell seem like a political giant) attitude was arrogantly 'We'll continue to lead on integration and eventually Britain, dragging its heels, will follow whether they like it or not'

Until now I have avoided becoming embroiled with the 'better off out' debate, However, listening to that drivel has pushed me much closer to wanting out completely.

I support Cameron's approach for now but there must be something substantive at the end of it. The repatriation of powers from the EU must be significant.

It would be worth getting some clips of these Euro-integrationists words and merge them into a video to demonstrate what the EU is really about!

Aren't the greens eurosceptic? I though they only supported british membership if there was going to be massive democratic reform.


She wasn't British (German possibly?)

I see Brown's fabled political strategic thinking at work here - ie - how do I screw the Tories.

Ratification in all members states will be completed by January 2009 and the treaty and all its institutions will have been in place long before then, so will be up and running, making back-tracking nigh-on impossible without leaving the EU all together.

We then go into the European Parliament elections with the Conservatives equivocating about a retrospective referendum to disapprove the ratification. Labour play it up anyway as if we are because they are quite happy that we get painted as proposing a vote to leave.

That gets all the euro-enthusiasts out to Vote Labour/Lib-Dem - remember, Brown needs a strong 3rd party - and because we are equivocating, because if we said we would have a vote to leave, 30 MPs would leave the party, all our vote buggers off to UKIP.

We get trashed in the election giving Brown a nice boost for a triumphant late summer election in 2009 and we're back to square one for another 5 years.

We need to win this fight for a referendum now, we won't win one after the fact.

I agree we should withold all or part of our contributions. I've suggested this on various occasions and its good to see others saying the same.

Foreign Policy is just not a votewinner. There is a good case to be made for having a referendum to determine whether or not we stay in the EU. In a democracy the people have a right to have a say on these fundamental issues.
However a vote on the treaty is a nonsense. If it is rejected we are still in the EU so what do we do then? It is unlikely that there would be much in the way of a fundamental renegotiation so we would be asked to vote again on a treaty with a bit of tinsel tied round it. Then what happens if we vote No again? At some point we have to answer the fundamental question : Do we want to be a member at all?
Apart from that from the Corn Tax to Imperial Preference Foreign Policy issues like this have put the Conservative Party on the back foot and kept us out of Government so lets promise a referendum on the whole question "In or Out" and get on with addressing the concerns that really matter to the people of Britain.
Richard Balfe

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