Tag Archives: European referendum

Miliband on in/out Europe referendum: I agree with Nick

Ed Miliband has decided, once and for all, what Labour’s position is be on an in/out EU referendum – the same as the Lib Dem policy.

Writing in today’s Financial Times, the Labour leader has said his party’s manifesto will commit to a referendum on whether the UK should be in or out of the EU only if there is a proposed transfer of more powers from London to Brussels.

This is subtly different from the Government’s ‘treaty lock’ agreed within the Coalition Agreement: that promised there should be a referendum on any future treaty that proposed a transfer …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 28 Comments

Liblink… Greg Mulholland calls for referendum on EU membership

eu_flagThe Daily Mail is reporting Greg Mulholland’s call for a vote on EU membership without waiting for a treaty change.

Even the huge changes that have taken place in Europe over the years – we’ve moved from EEC to EC to EU – have not led to a public vote. And it is not a little ironic that at the times there was a significant and constitutional change – in 1984, 1986 and 1992 – the then Conservative governments did not give the British people a say. The same happened under

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

That EU vote: 6 thoughts on what it means for the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour

clegg cameron miliband116 Tory MPs last night backed an amendment to the Queen’s Speech and called for an EU referendum bill. Here’s six thoughts from me on what it all means…

This wasn’t about Europe (much): this was about Cameron’s leadership

The Tory outers/Eurosceptics had already won: David Cameron capitulated in January, conceding an in/out referendum he’d tried hard to dodge. But that wasn’t enough for them. So they forced the Tory leader to capitulate again this week, forcing him to rush out a draft Bill legislating for just such a …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

58% of Lib Dem members against pledging in/out EU referendum in 2015 manifesto

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 650 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

nick clegg euDavid Cameron has said the next Conservative election manifesto will include a pledge to hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union. Do you think the next Liberal Democrat manifesto should include the same pledge?

    34% – Yes, it should

    58% – No, it

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

LDVideo: Tim Farron – It would be “completely mad to have a referendum now” on EU

Lib Dem party president Tim Farron — who resigned from the Lib Dem front-bench in 2008 to vote in favour of a referendum on the Libson Treaty — explained today why he thinks it would be “completely mad” to hold a referendum while the UK is tryng to get out of the biggest recession in living memory. You can watch the 2-minute video here:

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

The flagrant consistency of the Lib Dems’ position on an in/out EU referendum

EU flag - Some rights reserved by European ParliamentAs a follow-up to my post The surprising truth about that Lib Dem in/out EU referendum leaflet — and as a handy guide for journalists in the future — I thought I’d piece together the timeline of the recent history of the Lib Dems’ position on holding a referendum to give the British people a say on our future relationship with the European Union.

As you can see, it’s a picture of quite shocking, erm, consistency…

2007:

Lib Dems (under Ming Campbell) …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments

The surprising truth about that Lib Dem in/out EU referendum leaflet*

Clegg-referendum-leaflet-lisbon-2008On Monday morning, Nick Clegg was given a hard time on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme by interviewer Justin Webb, who accused him of changing his position on an EU referendum on the basis of this pictured leaflet (click to enlarge**).

Nick brushed it to one side, correctly pointing out that the party has stuck to its 2010 manifesto pledge (my emphasis):

The European Union has evolved significantly since the last public vote on membership over thirty years ago. Liberal Democrats therefore remain committed to an in/out referendum the next

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 33 Comments

David Cameron: the pro-Europeans’ secret weapon

Writing for the European Council on Foreign Relations, YouGov’s Peter Kellner highlights an important polling finding:

In July this year, YouGov asked this question: ‘Imagine the British government under David Cameron renegotiated our relationship with Europe and said that Britain’s interests were now protected, and David Cameron recommended that Britain remain a member of the European Union on the new terms. How would you then vote in a referendum on the issue?’…

Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

Tim Farron MP writes… EU referendum: the Conservatives are not acting out of patriotism

This is not likely to win me any votes, but I am proudly pro-Europe and in favour of our continued membership of the EU. That doesn’t make me an apologist for every aspect of the EU: the EU could definitely operate more transparently, efficiently and effectively, and we as Liberal Democrats should say so more often and with more conviction.

Nevertheless, our main challenge has to be to win hearts and minds in favour of our broader membership of the EU, and reverse the completely poisonous anti-European narrative. So many of those who were so indignant this summer about Mr Murdoch’s …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments

Martin Horwood: the real issue facing Europe today is an unprecedented economic crisis

Earlier today, we ran a guest post calling on the Liberal Democrats to back the forthcoming Parliamentary vote on a European referendum. Here is the press statement issued today by the party’s International Spokesman, Martin Horwood MP:

The Conservative right and UKIP seem hell bent in stoking a row which will threaten our stability.

The real issue facing Europe today is an unprecedented economic crisis. For Britain to start a constitutional argument at this critical moment would be fantastically irresponsible and could damage Britian’s ability to influence.

Billions of pounds of European investment in Britain is at stake as we watch an

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: Why won’t Nick Clegg trust the people with a referendum on Europe?

If there is one thing which Liberal Democrats need to be careful about after the tuition fees debacle, it is being seen to renege on any of our manifesto commitments. But this appears to be exactly what Nick Clegg is determined to do with the news that he has imposed a three line whip to vote against an EU referendum.

This is an area where he has a clear and very unsatisfactory track record already. The 2005 manifesto promised a referendum on the EU Constitution but when it came to a vote on the Lisbon Treaty (identical in virtually every respect …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 60 Comments

Opinion: EU Bill is bad Tory policy

The European Union Bill is a Tory policy. The Liberal Democrats went into the last election arguing for a referendum on whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU. Thankfully, having lost the election, we were not in a position to test public opinion on that one.

The Conservative party wanted a referendum on the Lisbon treaty in order to repatriate powers and to entrench national sovereignty. On losing the election they discovered that Lisbon was already in force and could not be undone. So their new tactic was to undermine the Lisbon settlement whenever opportunity arose, and it …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | 26 Comments

Lib Dem members say ‘No’ (just) to holding in/out EU referendum in next Parliament

At the start of the week, Lib Dem Voice invited the members of our private discussion forum (open to all Lib Dem members) inviting them to take part in a survey, conducted via Liberty Research, asking a number of questions about the party and the current state of British politics. Many thanks to the 200 of you who completed it; we’ve been publishing the results on LDV over the last few days.

Back in December, it became clear that the party had yet to decide whether the Lib Dem general election manifesto would promise to hold …

Posted in Europe / International and LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Lib Dem MPs split on Euro referendum?

Almost two years ago, in the early weeks of Nick Clegg’s leadership, the Lib Dem parliamentary party managed to tie itself in knots over the question of whether to support a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. In the end three frontbenchers, David Heath, Tim Farron and Alistair Carmichael, quit after defying the party’s three-line whip to oppose a referendum.

Well, Sky News has the interesting story that the party still hasn’t managed to get its line straight and agreed, re-opening that split:

Now it seems to be deja vu all over again, with a new Lib Dem split in voting

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 9 Comments

Opinion: Cast-iron Conservatism – brittle promises obtained from a flexible friend

On 26th September 2007 David Cameron gave what he called a cast-iron guarantee. The guarantee appeared in a piece published under his name in Mr Murdoch’s Sun. Liberal Democrats, who set some store by their own political education and haven’t read the piece, really should take the opportunity to read it in its entirety.

The aspiring party leader explains that it is an article of faith for him that: “No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum.” And, because of that, he promises, any Conservative government led by him will “hold a referendum on any EU treaty.”

Mr Cameron explains, in the same piece, that his determination to hold a referendum isn’t simply a reflection of his deepest political beliefs but a practical matter too. It is integral to Conservative economic policy making. Why should that be? The explanation seems straightforward. It is vital because: “One of the great challenges rolling back the tide of bureaucracy.” And, Mr Cameron continues, “you can’t do that without targeting one of the main sources of this bureaucracy – Brussels.”

Without the referendum he’d promised Mr Cameron makes it clear it will not be possible to free UK businesses from red tape; the kind of European regulation which makes it impossible for the UK economy to succeed. Of course what most of us call regulation – and Mr Cameron calls red tape – isn’t quite the easy target that it once was. And Mr Cameron’s cast-iron guarantee has almost completely rusted away.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Time for a U-turn on Lisbon Treaty

Let’s call a spade a spade: given the BNP electoral successes I think this is probably one of the most important things we can do in politics right now. Last night was not a good set of results for the Lib Dems; anything that places our national vote share behind Labour’s simply is not good enough.

Rather than do an exhaustive analysis I intend to do something novel, something that has not been done much during this electoral cycle, and focus on a European issue.

I remember one of the first blog posts that I wrote critical of a position …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 31 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Dean 23rd Apr - 9:29pm
    @John Dunn What is your point?
  • User AvatarSuzanne Fletcher 23rd Apr - 9:25pm
    for John Dunn who says " To aid your thinking, remember that today is St Georges Day. For Ukip MEP think (St George), and for...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 23rd Apr - 9:11pm
    I'm just concerned as to the fact that there's apparently someone working in HQ who considers the welfare cap to be an achievement. Perhaps next...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 23rd Apr - 9:02pm
    Although there is significant support for Nick Clegg in the above comments - the true and final measure of a leader's qualities is his or...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 23rd Apr - 8:29pm
    When I was a member of the Party [resigned some months ago] I did contribute to the Members Forum and was surprised how few did...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 23rd Apr - 7:56pm
    Can someone 'moderate' my earlier comment - and for goodness sake done something about the filter that doesn't like any variant of fracking