Ireland decides as Lords reject EU referendum
While the media focused on the knife-edged vote on 42-day detention without charge - which the Government only won with the bizarre support of the erstwhile principled DUP – the Lords Temporal and Spiritual were consigning a thousand years of British sovereignty to the dustbin, choosing to reject holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
The Conservative Party insisted that the treaty was essentially the Constitution in disguise, a referendum was promised by all major parties, and the Lords ought to honour that promise.
Labour and Liberal Democrats said it was not needed as the treaty would not alter the UK's own constitution. But the behaviour of the Liberal Democrats on this matter shows this party for what it is – a ragbag collection of unprincipled, inconsistent, duplicitous liars. In 2005, their manifesto promised a referendum; in January 2008, they abstain on a referendum in the House of Commons; in May 2008, they vote against a referendum in the House of Lords.
And so the Government won - by 280 to 218. And the way is now clear for the bill ratifying the Treaty of Lisbon to become law next week.
Notwithstanding the noble but doomed efforts of Stuart Wheeler, only Ireland can now hinder the inexorable path to greater European integration, an EU presidency, a global diplomatic service, and the abolition of a host of national vetoes.
God bless Sinn Féin.