Euro-referendum – the view from the Lib Dem blogosphere

I think it’s fair to say there’s not been universal acclaim of Ming’s verdict, posted here on Lib Dem Voice yesterday, that a referendum on the EU reform treaty is “not necessary”. Here’s the scores on the doors…

Agreeing with Ming

David Nikel
Paul Walter
Frank Little

Disagreeing with Ming

Gavin Whenman
Chris Black
Arwen Folkes
Nich Starling
Antony Hook
Jonathan Calder
Toby Philpott
Stephen Tall
James Graham

Finally, it seems there may well be a fourth Lib Dem MP backing moves for a referendum, according to the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts: “Paul Keetch (Lib-Dem, Hereford) tried to get Mr Murphy to agree to a referendum.”

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This entry was posted in Best of the blogs and News.


  • One of the arguments for a referendum some LDs put forward is that we would be united during such a poll while the other parties split. This list goes some way to demonstrating the awful truth: while we may be officially a pro-European party, ours also contains a range of views. If anything, that pro-European label keeps most of the party’s Eurosceptics quiet. I doubt that would remain the case during a referendum.

  • Trev Gillett 13th Sep '07 - 10:24am

    I think it’s about time this EU squeeze on the British voter was put to the test.
    If the Lib-Dems aren’t allowed a voice in the House on this (by leadership decision)….then I will cease membership of the party -soon after the last chance to speak out against the EU takeover goes.

  • @Graeme—the thing is, a lot of us calling for a referendum want one because we think we can win it. We’re not anti europe or eurosceptics, we want it in order to make the case.

    So the party is split on whether to have a referendum, but a lot less split on what we want the result to be. although I’ve no doubt there will be some no campaigners, there’ll be a lot less than in other parties.

  • This just proves to me that even the Lib Dems don’t really know what they are talking about when it comes to understanding European Treaties – understanding what power and soverignty is in the 21st century – and also judging the mood of the British people.

    Compare new proposals to Nice Treaty (which they replace) and you will see little shift of any actual power. The big shifts in power happend at Maastricht – that is why we called for a referendum then – the Tories didn’t. So there is no constitutional need for a referendum. The question then is – is one desireable?

    The answer to that is yes, as Britain (an inparticular the Tories and other Europhobes) has still not come to terms with the Maastricht settlement of 1991 when the EU was created in its current form. The real argument isn’t about this new reform treaty, its about Britain’s place in Europe. Don’t let the Europhobes bamboozle you with arcana, people on the doorstep just think that we have given too much power away, they don’t even really know what that power is.

    We should have a referendum! Lib Dems should be brave enough to call for the referendum that really matters and what this is really all about. In or out!

  • I am quite frankly embarrassed by Ming’s decision. Here’s hoping for an uplifting speech next Thursday, where he attempts to distance him self from Brown.

  • What I want to know is how much if the treaty is new in terms of EU law.

    As I understand it the majority of the treaty is already EU law so if there is no change, then I agree no referendum on the treaty.

    However I would like to know from those who have read the document what are the new things and if theses new things are just consolidation of existing rules.

    e.g. the foreign minister idea – does this come with new powers or the same powers just vested in a single spokesman?

  • Liam Pennington 13th Sep '07 - 1:27pm

    A good point was made further up this post, and elsewhere in the blogosphere – whether the party are for or against the Treaty per se matter not; we are always asked to make the case for Europe, and this is surely the best opportunity to make that case.

    I am pro-Europe, and pro-referendum. I really didn’t expect to find myself at odds with liberals or Liberals on the issue of putting matters of national importance to the vote!

  • Hywel Morgan 14th Sep '07 - 1:47pm

    BBC website is reporting we have called for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership saying “more soon”

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