Yesterday’s EU Treaty proceedings explained

Yesterdays vote and proceedings in the Commons show the grim reality that unless the Lib Dems honour their promise of a referendum there is no chance of us gaining one.

Yesterday was the Second Reading. The issue was simply ?? do you want this Bill and this Treaty at all? Conservatives and 19 Labour rebels voted against the Bill and Treaty in its entirely. Lib Dems and the rest of the Labour party voted for it, giving them a huge majority.

The Labour rebels put down a motion to deny the Bill a second reading because there was no referendum offered. This was not an amendment which could have led to a referendum ?? it was another way of saying Lets veto the whole bill. Their proposal was not called. Had Conservatives put our name to it as well, and had it been called, it would have ended up with the same outcome as we achieved by simply voting against Second Reading outright.

The opportunity to force a referendum comes later in Committee, when any MP can table a referendum amendment to the Bill, in the form that this Bill will only come into effect if there has been a referendum and if the public has voted Yes. The Conservatives will table such an amendment and vote for it, or support a Labour one if they table it first. We do not wish to see competing referendum amendments, and may prefer Labour to choose the words they want to maximise their support for it.

Either way we need the Lib Dems to vote en bloc for a referendum. Their slippery Leader finally this morning on the Today programme let slip he would vote against a referendum on the Treaty, tearing up their election promise. All those of us who want a referendum on this Treaty need to maximise pressure on these treacherous Lib Dems, as well as encouraging more Labour rebels, if we are to have any chance of stopping this juggernaut Treaty that the public does not want.

PS: The Conservatives have now tabled a suitable referendum amendment as New Clause 1.
<strong>Click <a href="">here </a>to read John Redwood’s contributions to the debate on the EU Treaty.</strong>


  1. haddock
    January 22, 2008

    I watched the whole debate on television, well done on your part !
    I see the spirit of Traitor Heath lives on with Ken Clark and others. The belief they hold in the divine right of MPs does democracy no favours.
    It was good to hear Gisela Stuart, Austin Mitchell, Frank Field, Roger Godsiff, Gwyneth Dunwoody, Graham Stringer and Ian Davidson speaking on my behalf to counter the bombasts on the Conservative benches who spoke against my right to a democratic vote.
    Can you please name those of your party that voted with the government?

    As for the libdumbs, I loved the comment by Frank Field about them nailing their colours firmly to the fence. They have inflicted a serious wound on themselves by their behaviour yesterday.

  2. Vindico
    January 22, 2008

    I can but hope you succeed in forcing this arrogant government and 'honorable' members to be so generous as to give the people they represent a say on such an important matter. They may not think the people intelligent enough to make a decision on the treaty, but I know a large number of people who dont think most MPs intelligent enough to make decisions on such issues as the treaty!
    MPs need to remember that is us, the people, from whom they derive their power. It is us, the people, whom they are supposed to represent, and it is our, the people's, right to decide over their governance. It is that right which we lend to MPs, and at the end of each Parliament those powers must be returned undiminished to the people.
    The deceit and treachery of many MPs is astonishing. Politicians are so detached they think state funding of parties is required to re-engage people in the political process. They are so arrogant that they do not even possibly consider the fact that it is they who are the problem.

  3. Derek W. Buxton
    January 22, 2008

    If you rely on the Lib-Dums you can forget the whole scheme. In case you hadn't, noticed they want in to the EU scam and have been quite open about it for some years. They see it as a way of getting some power and left wing to boot, right up their street. It has all the things they love, high taxation, shedloads of regulation and lots of high paying, low workload jobs for them and their hangers on.

  4. mikestallard
    January 22, 2008

    You are right! Keep it up!

  5. Letters From A Tory
    January 23, 2008

    I think "treacherous" is an extremely good way of describing the way the Lib Dems voted. They let their party down and they let the country down. Shame on them.

  6. newmania
    January 23, 2008

    Hoqw did I ever do without this blog. Tory Radio has a great Clegg joke for anyone who is interested.

  7. John Mounsey
    January 25, 2008

    I have to say that it came as no real surprise to learn that Calamity Clegg had reneged on his promises. Lib Dems (particularly in local elections

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