Thursday, 5 November 2009

An EU Referendum Would Split the Tory Party‏

Conservative MEP's Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer quit their frontbench posts to concentrate on campaigning for a referendum on Europe after David Cameron said it was pointless to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty now it has been signed.

The comments by a French government minister who branded the Tories' new European policy "pathetic" may even help them in the short term polls given how some people feel about the French.

I think the Tories are really making a mess of Europe given their new grouping in the EU parliament and the effect of this on there relations with the bigger European governments etc.
The Conservatives now have no strength in Europe to get any of their wishes through, like a having the power for a Sovereignty Act or to repatriate powers from the EU. I very much doubt the EU would consider another treaty within the first conservative term in office after the Lisbon Treaty and therefore won’t have any form of referendum.

I think Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer are right to resign and campaign for a referendum to give the people a say as the Liberal Democrats would do. I also imagine that UKIP Leader Nigel Farage is trying his best to get Daniel to join his party as this really would be a great move for UKIP, if they could carry it off. I’m sure they would love too grab Daniel. Daniel Hannan also has a massive ground swell of support within the conservative party.

But the real problem for the Conservative party is that they could almost never hold a referendum on an in/out question on Europe. If they ever did, the leadership I guess would campaign to be in Europe but many of the grass roots would campaign to be out of Europe. In fact if this happened I could imagine UKIP gaining more activists from the Tory party during such a campaign then ever before. The same may also be true to a lesser extent of the Labour Party.

I actually think there are only two options if you really have given up on the European project and that's vote Lib Dem for a referendum or go the whole hog and vote UKIP.

Daniel Hannan Blog can be read here

Charlotte Gore makes a point that the Tories should stay quite on Europe here


  1. The Tories are in disarray. No longer do they have conviction and principles but they think they do. Tory tribal loyalty has its limits and those limits are getting very stretched at grass root levels because the Cons leaders are being exposed for the self serving politcos that they are.
    As far as the issue is concerned, please will somone out there inform the general electorate about why the EU is the right solution and to what problem. The loose talk about the benefits of EU membership is rife but unspecific.
    But we know here on the ground as mere UK citizens that the EU is an expensive, interfering, dictactorial, undemocratic, and corrupt beast that we don't need for any reason what-so-ever that couldn't be sorted out by a sovereign government.
    If the EU was such a good thing for the last 35 years or so why does it need changing from within? I'll tell you why because it was wrong from the start and continues to be so.
    Please be true to your own principles and vote for the political parties that want out of the EU, and in so doing return real government to the UK people.

  2. Realaler - Perhaps there should be some leaflets from the EU itself explaining what it does and why its important.

  3. The problem with this promise of Clegg's of a referendum vote is that it was presented as compensation when the LDs cynically broke their manifesto promise of a referendum on the constitreaty.

    Even if this one becomes a manifesto promise too it is clearly not wiorth the paper it is written on. Cameron should table such a referendum even if only to see you lot wriggling again. There are now no circumstances under which any promise in your manifesto, or out of it, can ever be trusted & no thus no way anybody with any self respect can vote for you.