Nick welcomes Ireland’s Lisbon yes vote, says Tories are “embarrassing themselves”

Ireland’s yes to the Lisbon Treaty was emphatic (albeit at the second time of asking): 67% voted to approve it, with just two of the 43 constituencies rejecting it, on an icnreased turnout of 58%.

Nick Clegg was quick to welcome the result – and to note the awkward situation David Cameron now finds himself in:

This result finally puts to rest years of wrangling over Europe’s future and paves the way for a stronger and more democratic European Union.

“The worst thing would be to re-open this self-indulgent debate. David Cameron should now finally accept the treaty as a fact of life instead of plotting with Eastern European nations to have it blocked. The Conservatives are already embarrassing themselves and Britain with their petulant impotence on Europe.

“Big issues like the economic crisis, climate change and cross-border crime cannot be tackled by any country on its own. The EU offers us safety in numbers and this is why best place for Britain remains at the very heart of Europe.”

David Cameron has emailed his members in anticipation of Ireland’s yes vote, in an attempt to quell the overwhelming clamour for a tougher Eurosceptic stance from the Tory leadership over their post-ratification plans:

I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve.

I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a ‘No’ vote.

If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen.

So there we go, then: if Lisbon is ratified, Mr Cameron “will not let matters rest”. That’s cleared that up, hasn’t it. Good job the Tory leader believes in straight-talking, or who knows what convoluted formula he’d have come up with in an attempt to buy himself a bit more time.

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16 Comments

  • didnt nick clegg promise us a referendum? is he embarrassed about lying to us?

  • 1. Nick Clegg isn’t PM
    2. The European Constitution was ditched in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, which keeps the consolidation aspects but gets rid of the, eh, constitutional aspects of the Constitution.

  • “The European Constitution was ditched in favour of the Lisbon Treaty…”

    I’d love to know how many of those who peddle this half-baked garbage actually believe it, and how many know how ridiculous they sound but say it anyway out of a sense of party loyalty. I guess it’ll always remain one of life’s little mysteries though.

  • Seeing as there’s now a chance Tony Blair could be President of Europe I should damn well think we’re entitled to a referendum.

    “The worst thing would be to re-open this self-indulgent debate. David Cameron should now finally accept the treaty as a fact of life instead of plotting with Eastern European nations to have it blocked. The Conservatives are already embarrassing themselves and Britain with their petulant impotence on Europe.”

    What Clegg fails to mention is that the British public as a whole is deeply Eurosceptic and would probably vote against the Treaty. Does he therefore think that they are petulant? His attitude comes across as extremely arrogant.

  • Mr Mestopheles 3rd Oct '09 - 7:52pm

    A short road to Tower Hill for you boys.

  • Ianm, the nasty thing about saying that, and believing it is – err… well, it’s what happpened. The constitution was abandoned. Lisbon did replace it. You….. might not like that, but trying to claim it didn’t happpen… well, it ignores the felling of a great many trees which the replacement was printed on, for one thing….

    Two Parliament committees have found that it’s different, and if you’re so far removed from reality as to think they’re somehow identical in spite of that, you might like to read Chris Huhne’s comprehensive rebuttal.

    Even 61% of Tories want to stay in the EU according to a ConHome poll recently, so I really think this silly, and lazy, thoughtless Europhobia should be put to bed where it belongs.

  • The Irish vote seems to have seriously unbalanced David Cameron if today’s e-mail from him is anything to go by…

    ‘This weekend we will hear the results of the referendum in Ireland on the re-named EU Constitution.

    I want to make one thing clear: there will be no change in our policy on Europe and no new announcements at the Conference. There will be no change in Conservative policy as long as the Lisbon Treaty is still not in force. The Treaty has still not been ratified by the Czechs and the Poles. The Czech Prime Minister has said that the constitutional challenge before the Czech Constitutional Court could take 3-6 months to resolve.

    I have said repeatedly that I want us to have a referendum. If the Treaty is not ratified in all Member States and not in force when the election is held, and if we are elected, then we will hold a referendum on it, we will name the date of the referendum in the election campaign, we will lead the campaign for a ‘No’ vote.

    If the Treaty is ratified and in force in all Member States, we have repeatedly said we would not let matters rest there. But we have one policy at a time, and we will set out how we would proceed in those circumstances if, and only if, they happen.’

  • For goodness’ sake. Tory trolls need to decide whether they support the principle of absolute Parliamentary supremacy/Europhobia or the principle of right to referenda.

  • @Greg

    Thanks for going some way to answering my question.

  • I’m not a Europhobe by any stretch of the imagination. I’m very much pro-Europe.

    I’m also pro-democracy and pro-honesty though, and those aren’t always compatible with the former position.

  • The Yorkshire Guidon 4th Oct '09 - 4:25pm

    We should take no lectures from Tories on referendums. Can’t remember them fall over themselves to offer referendums on Maastricht and the Single European Act both of which had much greater integrationist measures than Lisbon.

One Trackback

  • By The Tories’ Lisbon Treaty Problem… | Sharpe's Opinion on Fri 9th October 2009 at 5:40 pm.

    […] job encapsulating the whole thing, but has anyone else noticed the glee with which Labour and the Lib Dems are using the Irish Lisbon vote as a stick to beat the Tories? Doesn’t that seem, in light of […]

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