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Did Mr Cameron say anything about whether we'd get a vote if the Treaty was ratified?

We are isolated in Europe.

That's a fact.

If we had left the EPP by now we would have begun to build an alternative alliance however.

Our half-hearted commitment to a new alliance within Europe is hardly attracting people to stand with us.

(Lucky we didn't ally with Poland's L&J, though!)

Well done Cam.

David Cameron did not address that issue, Umbrella man.

I watched the exchange. I fear people are going to be bored by this very quickly. Unlike the pound/euro issue this is too hard to understand. Cameron is sensible not to pledge a vote once, as is likely, the Treaty is ratified. People are small c conservative. They don't like the idea of changing to the Treaty but they will not want to change away from it either.

The party would be so much better employed focussing on bread and butter issues like tax and crime.Most people don't understand or care enough about this EU treaty.

The red lines are red herrings, but it would seem that Cameron's post-ratification message to the people is simply "let them eat herring"

"Most people don't understand or care enough about this EU treaty."

That doesn't stop making it a highly important issue I'm afraid.

I think it would be unwise to (a) work according to the assumption that we'll lose the Parliamentary vote and (b) disclose what our strategy will be if we do lose it.

So, we shouldn't get humg up about repealing the Treaty *at this stage.*

This from UK Polling Report: "In their September poll a whopping 4% of people said that Europe was one of the most important issues facing the country, compared to 43% for immigration, 41% for crime, 36% health and 22% defence and international terrorism. That isn’t to say Europe doesn’t have the potential to be a salient issue - back in 2000 and 2001 when William Hague was banging on about “Saving the Pound” Europe was regulary cited as a major issue facing the country by around 25% of people, it went as high as 43% in 1997. It’s just that, right now, very few people see it as an issue of importance when compared to things they really care about, like immigration, health and crime."

Very clever Chad, but let's show we are not rabid Tory-haters. He is making the best, broadest, case now. Brown can't be trusted on this serious issue. Looking at the prison officers' union it seems one of the red lines will be tested almost immediately.

Cam is making a great start imho. He will have to get passionate and angry about this to get the point across that we are losing historic freedoms.

We should never dominate an election on the issue of Europe, but this is one of trust. The Constitution will be a massive change to the British political system and it is merely being brushed through. Under other circumstances Brown oculd have got away with it, but I hardly think the lack of mentions of the EU flag and anthem mean it's far enough away from the constitution to no longer need a referendum.

We've been promised one, so we should get one.

In terms of repealing the treaty after ratification, that would be near impossible without renegotiating entry. It'll be too late after the election.

Perhaps the biggest problem David Cameron faces on the current issue is the long history of obfuscation by all political parties.

If voters were told the truth that over 80 per cent of all our laws come from Brussels; that they are rubber stamped in both Houses; that nearly half our statute book is now Brussels’ law (and that in just 30 years despite our legislative history going back a thousand year) then they might have a different view.

And that is before the treaty of Lisbon.

The sad truth is that we elect MPs who can do virtually nothing.

As the former German President Herzog said last January of his own country - we can no longer call ourselves a parliamentary democracy.

When people wake up to this then their retribution will be colossal.

OK Henry, I love Dave, (I really do), keep at the nasty Brown pledge-breaker.

Benefit of the doubt granted for a few weeks.

But if Cameron doesn't give us a referendum post-ratification, you hold him down and I'll kick him in the nuts?

People need to have it explained in a way that is not boring CCHQspy that is what good politicians are for. And no, bluepatriot, it is not higher in most peoples lists than NHS or education but that is because most people are shallow and the average IQ is 100. It is the vital issue for the future of Britain as a country - particularly the ratchet clause - and those of us with an IQ above 100 need more reassurance than either of you are prepared to offer. I am not asking for Cameron to major on this as a theme or even campaign about it. If it is too difficult for the plebs to discuss (in your opinion) then I am happy it is not discussed BUT I am asking for a cast-iron, believable, public assurance that when in office he will reverse it, period, end of story. After that he need never mention it again if his polling tells him it bores people. But if I am going to vote for let alone work for this Party into 2009 then I require that initial assurance.

Aside from the issue of the EU treaty itself this is a very good way of focusing public attention on Gordon Brown's character. A prime minister who doesn't listen to the will of the people, a prime minister who is afraid of trusting his own people to make the right decision. This says everything about the top-down politics of Gordon Brown. Government by directive with parliament as a rubber stamp.

This attack should be on the issue of trust - it's an accusation which can be repeated in the future on many different issues. This referendum is an example of a breach of trust. Making it all about the treaty rather than trust will have no legs.

If it's after 10PM when we bump into him I'll do the kicking if you don't mind. I'm not losing my teeth through your Jonny Wilkinson impression, justified or not.

I wouldn't trust your aim with one ball :)

The trust aspect is starting to gain resonance with the electorate. Combined with the on-going Brown/Blair stories in the press, opinion that Brown is not a man 'to trust' will only grow. His continual reference to Maastrict under Tory questioning looked shady and he failed to answer many of the points raised.

Cameron did a forensic job in breaking through Brown's spin today. Brown's assertion that the treaty differs largely from the constitution looked weak under careful examination.

The Labour benches looked empty today and one may take from this the feeling that Labour MP's do not wish to be associated with this betrayal.

Chad - what do you think a post-ratification referendum on the Treaty would do exactly?

William Hague today reported on Open Europe
"does not rule out " a referendum after ratification.

Times article on Open Europe today says William Hague "does not rule out" a referendum after ratification of Treaty/Constitution.

Umbrella man at 16:18 raises the key issue.

Banging on about a referendum on the draft treaty is a decaying fig-leaf to cover the kind of deficiency the old ditty inflicted on Herr Goebbels.

There was in the proposed constitution and now in the draft treaty, for the first time, a clearly established and defined process of egress from the EU.

So, if there is any virility behind that fig-leaf:
get the treaty through, with all the usual quibbles, but accept that, win or lose, referendum or no referendum, that's not changing very much;
then --
go then for a referendum on exercising the right to leave.

Why do I know that the Conservative Party would then find itself very short of backers, very short on support, and will therefore, to coin a phrase, "bottle it"?

People find the EU boring? Tough. I find the finer details of taxation boring, but I know about the end results, because it hits my pocket HARD.

So The People need to be told time and again that dealing with crime, health etc etc will largely be out of the hands of MPs at Westminster, but will be in the hands of an unelected European Council.

And if someone could tell me the democratic benefits of that system, please do.

"Chad - what do you think a post-ratification referendum on the Treaty would do exactly?"

Honour Cameron's pledge.

"The Labour benches looked empty today and one may take from this the feeling that Labour MP's do not wish to be associated with this betrayal."

I think that the Eurosceptic Labour backbenchers unhappy with this Treaty, are also going to find it very hard to swallow the complete dismissal of a cast iron manifesto promise. In fact, I think that its going to make it easier for them to go against their party line and therefore make it harder for Brown to maintain complete authority over his own party. What ever the public line is, many Labour MP's were let down over the GE that did not happen and I think Brown is fast losing whatever honeymoon credit he had in his own party. It will be interesting to see how the Labour figure holds up in polling over the coming months.

The substantive issue is the contents of the constitution and the effects it has on the states relationship with us, and our relationship to the EU. The political issue is twofold.
1) Betrayal of our sovereignty - people don't understand / get bored by the EU (hence the 4% numbers above), but they don't like the fact that we are handing further powers over to the EU. It was very bad for John Major, and with skill and some luck we can make it very bad for Gordon Brown.
2) Trust. We have been lied to. It's not a treaty its the re-heated consitution in a different wrapper. Labour promised a referendum on the constitution. Ducking and weaving out of it is simply shredding their credibility and integrity. Look how the big pretender Milliband (D) is diminishing before our eyes. He'll be a political husk at the end of this process, perhaps that's what Brown planned.
However, Brown is treating us a fools of he thinks he can get away with this. Very, very damaging.
The Murdoch newspapers can no longer credibly support NuLab. Funnily ebough I wrote to the Times to this effect, strangely they didn't publish my letter!!

Amongst the never ending reiterations of the stock EU positions there is this article from William Rees Mogg in the Times.

Mogg Article Re EU Treaty Impact on Scottish Devolution

Now if this turns out to be unconstitutional for the Scots and they get a referendum, how might England react?

Hope springs eternal......

Tony Makara @17.13 has hit the nail on the head, it's all about trust!
I for one certainly do not trust Brown or any of his immediate team

You are quite right, MikeA at 18.27:

"Trust. We have been lied to. It's not a treaty its the re-heated consitution in a different wrapper. Labour promised a referendum on the constitution".

Brown is deceiving us again: Kate Hoey wrote a very tough article on the subject in Sunday's Mail and she called her leader: "seriously dishonest".

She, like others, pointed out that Brown's famous "red lines" are essentially the same as Blair's when he promised us the referendum.

Like others, I don't want to debate the EU ad nauseam but it is a major issue facing us right now and it will adversely affect us in ways that we can't imagine at the moment - just like Brown's deceitful tax increases used to be.

To the extent that people do not care about Europe, it is only because they are not aware of how much it affects them.

Already we are more than 80% down the road to abolishing our country's independence and ending our democracy.

We have arrived at this sorry pass by a deliberate deception and without democratic consent.

We have been getting lied to by our self-serving politicians for too long.

We don't want to be ruled from Brussels by people we cannot democratically dismiss.

We elect our British governments to govern, not to hand control of our affairs to unelected Barrosos and Mandelsons.

If David Cameron can wake the country up - while we still have a country to wake up -
he will earn his place in history.

people don't understand / get bored by the EU (hence the 4% numbers above)

I have just posted on the UK Polling Report site re this very point which Anthony Wells tries to justify.

I don't believe it is either true or valid to try and compare strategic issues such as the EU with operational issues like Immigration.

People say they are concerned about immigration but one of the greatest barriers to fully controlled immigration is the EU. Therefore it can be argued that the number of people who are concerned about the impact of the EU is actually 47%. Using that intepretation puts it at the top of the concern tree.

I'm sure many will disagree with me but its about as accurate an assessment as saying only 4% think the EU is important.

As an issue, the EU should be judged on polls specifically aimed at the EU, not by polls aimed at seeking what people's current day to day concerns are.

Just be very wary, Ken Clarke and others wont take this lying down, you have been warned.

Regarding the discussion on the pollsters, I attended an Adam Smith Institute discussion on polling last week which pointed to similar figures (I can't remember the exact number) to the 4% figure quoted as a voting issue at general elections.

The key issue here is not the fact that we will have a referendum; personally I can't see it happening, but is more about painting a picture to the wider population of the prime minister you cannot trust. The guy who doesn't stick to his promises, is deceiving over the content and implications of the treaty, and is essentially fooling the country.

I believe that Cameron has been spot on politically with way he has approached this. And week by week, this can work. My only concern is that there are also many more topics we can hammer this government on Poverty, Welfare Reform, Social Mobility, Tax, Crime, Education, etc.... which can also connect more to peoples' everyday lives.

All of which the government has failed, and where we can/are driving the agenda.

I am becoming more and more uneasy about the reluctance of the leadership to confirm that, if elected, they will have a referendum on the treaty. If the following lift from today's Telegraph is true they have promised a referendum as surely as Brown has. Why is Hague now appearing to hedge in interviews?

Someone please reassure me.

""A month ago, Mr Cameron wrote: "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." That sounds pretty unequivocal.""

Chad 'THE EGO' Noble back amongst his tory pals. After leaving the tories forming numerous other political parties, joining and then leaving UKIP in a huff - he can now be found sulking on Conservative Home - no surprise there then.

The public are more worried about immigration, the NHS and crime than the EU at the moment, because those are the things that most effect their daily lives at the moment. When the full impact of the EU Treaty begins to affect them, AND the impact of EU regulations on how many immigrants we have to accept from the EU at least, sinks in and it will IF the subject is talked about in simply enough terms, indicating the precise ways it will affect everybodies lives. Afterall housing and jobs are crucial to most UK residents, and if competition for houses and jobs becomes heightened by an excessive number of EU immigrants, this will cause growing unease amongst UK residents.

In a way it is a waiting game at the moment, because the problems caused by this Treaty are going to grow over time - for the UK at least, and it is fairly obvious that the present Prime Minister has not got the capacity, even if he wanted to, to cope with the problems that are going to arise. So the failure of the EU to do much that is positive for Jo public will become more and more obvious. I can't see this country ever enjoying the sort of handouts that the Irish Republic has received, since the UK is always seen as the moneybags to get money FROM, by European Ministers!

I think Cameron has played this about right. The best thing he can do with this is use it to portray Brown once again as a mendacious coward. There's no point in fighting it tooth and nail -when the Conservatives get into power there will have to be a substantial change in our relations with the E.U. anyway. Acts of Parliament can be repealed and Treaties can be broken.

Has everyone forgotten that on 11 October Da`vid Cameron said- -
"When Parliament returns we will hold an Opposition day debate where we will put down a very simple and clear motion that we support a referendum on the European constitution."

I'm waiting! And since it's a matter of trust I hope I don't have to wait much longer!

Ref Cameron's promise to hold a referendum on the con/treaty - I believe the promise was made when an autumn election was expected. Therefore his promise refered only to a situation where he would become PM before ratification.


lol! I knew that was coming! - I like games.

Cameron is trying to hold Brown to account over a free vote for Labour MPs. Is Cameron offering a free vote to Conservative MPs?

Oh sorry, just noticed the Editors first comment here answered the question. Gotta learn to read the comments first...

Perdix at 2357

P er..lease don't make excuses for Cameron breaking his promise again.

The report says - - - "Cameron to push referendum debate

Mr Cameron called on Labour MPs to back his motion
Tory leader David Cameron has pledged to force a Commons vote on whether a referendum should be held on the new European Union treaty.

Mr Cameron said he would "push the government all the way" by holding an Opposition Day debate on the issue shortly after MPs return in October"

This would give Labour MPs who want a referendum a chance to say so and be counted without the whips being too beastly to them. It would all help whereas a broken promise fatally undermines Cameron's chief plank of "TRUST"

'UKIP and Proud' whilst it is always disappointing to see personal attacks on what is a mature political blog, any arguments lose all power when logged under ANON.

Whilst I understand how strongly members of UKIP feel about many aspects of Europe, personally attacking bloggers is not the most effective way of spreading your message.

The Tories are trying to push for the people to decide on the future of Europe, all UKIP supporters should be behind us on that goal.

Like the Tories' Treaty of Rome, like the Tories (indeed, Margaret Thatcher's) Single European Act, and like the Tories' Maastricht Treaty, the EU Reform Treaty cedes power to a legislature which meets in secret and which publishes no Official Report.

That legislature routinely contains, and is always subject (if at all) to the rubber stamp of, assorted Stalinists, Trotskyists, neo-Fascists, neo-Nazis, members of Eastern Europe's kleptomaniac nomenklatura, believers that the Provisional Army Council of the IRA is the sovereign body throughout Ireland, and neoconservatives in rising numbers (who have stolen other people's parties, as neoconservatives do). Those last will soon be joined by their ever-dependable Islamist allies, specifically from the resurgent Caliphate of Turkey.

I for one object in the strongest possible terms to being subject to legislation enacted either by such a body or by such people. Furthermore, most MPs would presumably see themselves as standing in one of Britain's three principal political traditions, or perhaps as having some degree of relationship to two or all three of those traditions. In that case, they must reject the EU Reform Treaty on the floor of the House, for the reasons set out above. Who needs a referendum?

And exactly how would Michael Heseltine's mini-me and his minions vote on an amendment which did not mention a referendum, but rather simply rejected the Treaty on principle? MPs are duty bound to table such an amendment. Who among them will?

The EU is about health, education, defence.....and so on. If people don't understand that government by the EU is undermining service quality, then Conservatives should be telling them.

The latest figures for projected population growth must be the surest evidence yet that the party must bite the bullet on immigration, begin discussing it seriously, and adopt an optimum population policy. The electorate are desperate for a credible party to demonstrate that it understands their concerns and recognises that Britain is a finite country with finite resources.

From today's Telegraph:

""Ten years from now, there will be 65 million people in the UK - an increase of five million - and by 2031, the population will be over 70 million, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Within a generation, immigration will add the equivalent of a city the size of London to the population.

This is the fastest growth rate since the post-war baby boom - and is far more rapid than the Government forecast just three years ago.

One campaign group accused the Government of conducting a ''vast unplanned experiment’’ with the country’s well-being.

Statisticians said at least 70 per cent of the population rise over the next 20 years will be attributable directly to immigration""

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