Wednesday, May 15, 2013

EU Referendum - Cameron nails his colours to the mast

He may have been dragged to the referendum table kicking and screaming; he may have waited until President Obama had given his 'fix the relationship' renegotiation nod; he may even have waited until the week of Eurovision in order that the country might better appreciate the artistic, cultural, political and democratic benefits of being a full and active participant in all things European. Or he may be trying to head off a damaging amendment to the Queen's Speech which, if passed, traditionally spells the end of the government.

Whatever his motive, there is no denying that David Cameron has not only put clear blue water between the democratic Conservatives and the autocratic Lib-Lab elitists; he has given hope to a generation that the United Kingdom might once again become a sovereign, self-governing nation, free to sign trade treaties and free to enact laws unencumbered by EU diktats and gold-plated regulations. The Bill is quite remarkable in its brevity and clarity:
1. Referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union
 (1) A referendum is to be held on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union.
 (2) The referendum must be held before 31 December 2017.
 (3) The Secretary of State shall by order appoint the day on which the referendum is to be held.
 (4) An order under this section may not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
 (5) The question that is to appear on the ballot papers is—
“Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?”
 (6) In Wales, a Welsh version of the question is also to appear on the ballot papers, as provided by order.

2. Entitlement to vote in the referendum
 (1) Those entitled to vote in the referendum are—
   (a) the persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in any constituency, and
   (b) the persons who, on that date, are disqualified by reason of being peers from voting as electors at parliamentary elections.

3. Conduct of the referendum and further provisions
 (1) The Secretary of State shall by order provide for the rules in accordance with which the referendum is to be conducted.
 (2) The Secretary of State may by order make further provisions about the referendum.
 (3) An order under this section may make provision modifying or amending this Act or another enactment.
 (4) An order under this section may not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

4. Interpretation
 (1) In this Act—
   • “enactment” includes—
   (a) any provision of an Act,
   (b) any provision of, or of any instrument made under, an Act of the Scottish Parliament,
   (c) any provision of, or of any instrument made under, Northern Ireland legislation, and
   (d) any provision of subordinate legislation (within the meaning of the Interpretation Act 1978);
   • “the referendum” means the referendum under section 1.

5. Expenditure
 (1) There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament-
   (a) Any expenditure of the Secretary of State in consequence of this Act; and
   (b) Any increase attributable to this Act in the sums which under any other Act are payable out of money so provided.

6. Short title
 (1) This Act may be cited as the European Union (Referendum) Act 2013.
Be as cynical as you like, but no prime minister since Harold Wilson in 1975 has gone this far. Yes, the Act would be predicated on the Conservative Party winning the next General Election; and, yes, it is dependent upon David Cameron being prime minister in 2017. But there is no remote possibility of the Conservatives not delivering on this: it binds hands, ties feet and gags mouths. It is much of a cast-iron guarantee as David Cameron could give in coalition.

The purists will say (as Nigel Farage already has) that constitutionally Parliament may not bind its successors, and they would be correct. And His Grace certainly would not argue that this Act ought to be binding in any sense upon a future Labour administration, or Lib-Lab coalition - should either be the outcome of the 2015 General Election - which chose to continue along the tedious path to 'ever closer' union'. But for a Conservative government, it would be an inescapable trajectory to 'ever closer referendum'.

And, most importantly, there is no renegotiation obfuscation in this question: it is straightforwardly In or Out.

We had been led to believe that such a stark choice was crass and crude; that the question ought to be something more nuanced, like: 'The Prime Minister has worked very hard indeed to renegotiate the UK's truly beneficient relationship with the EU and has won mighty and impressive concessions. Do you think the UK should take advantage of this God-given, heaven-sent opportunity, or retreat into the political outer darkness of nowhere?'

But the question isn't predicated upon any renegotiation; there is no mediated or manipulated 'third way'. Cameron goes to Brussels, and negotiates. Whatever he comes back with (or doesn't), the question remains the same - In or Out.

That might just focus a few oligarchical minds: they will need to consider constantly 'What will make the British vote "Yes"?'.

Or they may try to circumvent this ghastly plot by helping to ensure that the populist Cameron loses in 2015 and we are governed by a Miliband-Cable cabal in coalition with Clegg as our commissioner in Brussels.

That will be the choice before us: a Manichæan struggle between darkness and light in which a vote for Ukip really would neuter and negate their own professed super-objective. They may want out, but secession cannot be without the consent of the people in a referendum. A vote for Labour or the LibDems would be a vote for the status quo. A vote for the Conservatives would be a vote for Ukip.

A difficult call. But His Grace will leave it to his wise readers and enlightened communicants to discern the lesser evil.


Blogger Naomi King said...

There is no point in a referendum!

Cameron is already on record as saying he would not honour the result of said referendum if the result was to leave the EU.

See El Pais 8th April 2013

Cameron is asked whether, if the referendum went against him, he would be willing to withdraw from the EU. And his answer is blunt and to the point: “I would not !! What I would like is to get reform of the European Union”.

There is also one very interesting omission in the Tory EU draft Bill; there is NO CLAUSE to actually mandate the government to do anything following the outcome of the plebiscite.

So there we have it if the referendum went against him, Cameron would be willing to withdraw from the EU. And his answer is clear, blunt and to the point: “I would not !!

15 May 2013 at 09:54  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

But absolutely nothing to stop the EU spending millions of our money in Britain on publicity for the pro-EU cause.

15 May 2013 at 10:10  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

If Labour or the Lib Dems win the next election they will not honour this so we will be staying in. If UKIP get in we won't need a referendum to get out so voting Tory at the next election does not guarantee we will get out.

15 May 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

If Labour or the Lib Dems win the next election they will not honour this so we will be staying in. If UKIP get in we won't need a referendum to get out so voting Tory at the next election does not guarantee we will get out.

15 May 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger graham wood said...

Quite right Naomi. His real agenda could not be clearer.
Reformed EU? There is no realistic prospect of this.
If DC opts for real and substantial concessions from the EU then that itself would be unacceptable to the Commission as many other member states would also make similar demands.
That would entail chaos and and beginning of the break up of the EU. So they cannot allow that

If DC came back from the "table" with mere cosmetic assurances of a relatively trivial nature, then of course there will be no "reform" process either, and would not be sufficient to appease the "Out" faction within the Conservative Party.
Also, trivial concessions would be no platform on which to fight a future referendum in the UK.
The people would see right through this further obfuscation.

But in any event as we know the promise of a referendum is way ahead - and we do not know what a day will bring forth - let alone what can take place politically in the next five years or so!

The Lord may well return to confound all speculation!

15 May 2013 at 10:22  
Blogger Naomi King said...

AMEN to that Graham !

15 May 2013 at 10:26  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Cameron is a lier and a deceiver, he would NEVER take us out of the EU.

15 May 2013 at 10:29  
Blogger Naomi King said...

This is what the Independent is saying this morning ...

David Cameron has ruled out any further concessions to his hardline Eurosceptic MPs as they prepared to defy him by staging a Commons revolt today.

The Prime Minister tried to end the damaging impression that he is being pushed around by rebel Conservative backbenchers yesterday, as his party rushed out a Draft European Union (Referendum) Bill.

15 May 2013 at 10:33  
Blogger Preacher said...

David Cameron has had the chance to honour his pre election 'Cast Iron' promise of giving the electorate a referendum. He broke that promise & can no longer be trusted.
The writing is on the wall & it's not the hand of God this time, it's the hand of the electorate & for Medes & Persians read UKIP.

15 May 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Cameron should have wondered why David Davis threw a champagne bash for Nadine Dorries this week to celebrate her return to the Tory fold after being suspended for insubordination – and why anyone dared to go.

15 May 2013 at 10:39  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

"But there is no remote possibility of the Conservatives not delivering on this: it binds hands, ties feet and gags mouths. It is much of a cast-iron guarantee as David Cameron could give in coalition."

Are you really that naive Cranmer? You think there is no way out of this "cast iron guarantee"?

Here's a very simple way - they change the name of the European Union to the European State [remember the Constitution that suddenly became "just a treaty"?]

How about a referendum followed by another referendum followed by another referendum until they get the "correct answer"?

In the unlikely event that the Conservatives become a majority government, you think Dave wouldn't have the intelligence to step down as PM just before any such referendum was due.

Vote UKIP. Vote Independent. Vote anyone except Lab/Lib/Con

15 May 2013 at 10:44  
Blogger MrTinkles said...

Your Grace...I'm afraid in this case, it is because members of your comment stream are rather more on the ball than you. If Dave was serious, he would bring in a bill that gave us a referendum before the next election. You suggest the problem that it will only occur if he wins the next election is minor. Dave himself knows there is little chance of him being PM in 4 years time, so this is a toothless bill. I doubt it's got anything to do with EU strategy, but is everything to do with not going down in history as a complete berk when his own party attempts to undermine their own Queen's speech.

15 May 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Cameron has lost control of his Cabinet on the issue - just as a public spending round looms. Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home has named nine Cabinet Ministers as "Outers" - at least, were a referendum to be held today.

Tim Montgomerie
"I reckon Gove, IDS, Paterson, Villiers, Grayling, Greening, Hammond, Letwin and Maude are definite or probable EU Outers in Cabinet."

15 May 2013 at 10:51  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Ah, Cranmer has deleted my comment. Linked to another blog!

Well, I hope he will allow me to simply quote Guido Fawkes' observations: "there is one very interesting omission in the Tory EU draft Bill. There is no clause to actually mandate the government to do anything following the outcome of the plebiscite ... Heaven forbid a vote on the EU goes the wrong way, and they need to hold another one…"

15 May 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger ivan said...

Maybe my comprehension is rather slack this morning but all I see in that bill is that a referendum should be held but there is NOTHING in there that says the result of said referendum will be acted on. It is as if Dave is assuming the result will be for staying in.

15 May 2013 at 11:04  
Blogger Naomi King said...

The latest Tory rebellion over Europe is like an iceberg, which is why David Cameron has had to change course in the face of it and promise to bring forward an EU referendum bill. What the prime minister can see – 70 backbenchers threatening to vote against the Queen's speech – is only a fraction of the obstacle. Hidden beneath the surface are more substantial opponents and wider causes of resentment.

Quite why this has turned into a potential shipwreck for the prime minister – hitting him as he was in Washington trying to look statesmanlike – is an intriguing question. After all, if you don't have a plan for dealing with Europe rebellions you really should not be in Cameron's position. The leader of the Conservatives has to be able to handle an eruption of Euroscepticism as surely as the All England Club has to decide whether to close the Wimbledon centre court roof during a shower. It's no good saying, "Who would have thought it, eh, rain in summer?"

No 10 was blindsided by the strategy of tacking this rebellion on to the Queen's speech, a cleverer move than anything it was expecting. But Cameron ought to have suspected that the rebel masterminds were far more experienced than the novice backbenchers putting their heads above the parapet. The whole thing is far too slick not to have been co-ordinated by old hands. The suspicion must surely be that ministers, former ministers, veteran Tories and leadership contenders are working away behind the scenes.

The reason MPs stick two fingers up in this way and went to David Davis' party for Nadine Dorries is due to very deep anger in the party at Cameron's leadership, which goes far, far beyond Europe. Cameron is fast running out of goodwill and there wasn't much in the first place. This is because Ukip is steaming ahead and they don't want to lose their seats.

... From today's Guardian

15 May 2013 at 11:06  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Rebel Saint,

His Grace has deleted nothing. Your allegation is false. If it was a hyperlink, it is caught by the automatic spam filter. You really shouldn't leap to judgment.

15 May 2013 at 11:12  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

My apologies. I had an email notification that it was posted so made the logical conclusion it must have been deleted. [Not that I was complaining anyway - it is an entirely reasonable policy for you to have].

15 May 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Putting aside the EU referendum that wouldn't happen anyway, let's not forget the other reason not to vote Lib/Lab/Con - gay marriage.

15 May 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger John Wrake said...

I think that your post is in error in one particular.
Your penultimate paragraph reads: That will be the choice before us: a Manichæan struggle between darkness and light in which a vote for Ukip really would neuter and negate their own professed super-objective. They may want out, but secession cannot be without the consent of the people in a referendum. A vote for Labour or the LibDems would be a vote for the status quo. A vote for the Conservatives would be a vote for Ukip.
It is not true that secession depends on the result of a referendum.
Our current membership of the E.U. was entered into fraudulently, because it is contrary to our historic Constitution. The Constitution states quite specifically that the Monarch shall not be subject to any foreign Jurisdiction. Edward Heath was warned that loss of sovereignty was entailed in signing up to the Common Market but lied to the electorate on the matter.
Every Treaty since has also been unlawful and you don't need a referendum to decide what is lawful - you just have to read the Law!
When (and if) Members of Parliament fulfil their duty of allegiance to the Monarch as they have sworn to do, They simply need to agree a motion to leave.
If the present Members will not do so, they must be replaced by those who will.

John Wrake

15 May 2013 at 11:36  
Blogger nick smith said...

Well, it's a shame that this is a DRAFT bill. Please recognise that the coalition does not support it together and, thus, this draft bill is not Govt backed; it requires a backbencher to take it on as a 'Private Member's Bill' and is therefore unlikely to receive enough votes to get it past its second hearing...That's IF a backbencher who wants to take it up 'wins' the chance to in a ballot tomorrow. This isn't law yet and won't be whilst the coalition is together.

15 May 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger Nick said...

"Be as cynical as you like" i wasn't aware that anyone on this blog had become cynical about our politicians YG.

Seriously though, does this mean no more Eurevulsion Song Contests for us? Could the country cope with the cultural loss?

as you say, he has been dragged into it kicking and screaming. But won't it get blocked by the LimpDems anyway? I'm not that familiar with parliamentary procedure but I have heard there is a likelihood it will not become law anyway.

15 May 2013 at 12:25  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Well said Rebel Saint @ 11:27 ... "Putting aside the EU referendum that wouldn't happen anyway, let's not forget the other reason not to vote Lib/Lab/Con - gay marriage."

“Fury at gay marriages in Forces' chapels. This policy of queer 'marriage' is driven by political correctness and will have dire consequences. These changes if introduced would lead to military and other chaplains being sacked if they oppose conducting gay marriage in their chapels.”

OUTRAGE last night greeted government plans to allow gay marriages in Armed Forces chapels.

Details of the Coalition’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill yesterday revealed that gay and lesbian couples could be permitted to wed in Army, Navy and RAF places of worship.

Church of England and Catholic churches and mosques will not have to stage the ceremonies. But Armed Forces chapels will not be exempt under the new rules because they are owned by the State.

Nothing better illustrates how the State [aka David Cameron] is now embarked on a course to undermine the Christian view of marriage.

Daily Express: Tue, May 14, 2013

15 May 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Firstly I will declare my interest, as I am not neutral.
I am a member of Ukip, joining less than two years ago from a Conservatives stance , once the nature of this "Conservative led" disaster of a coalition Government became apparent.The gay marriage announcement was the last straw. At the recent County elections I stood as a candidate. I expected to fail, as I did, but I stood in order to support the only party that is serious about us exiting the EU.

The target audience for this are the naive, politically. He will not be elected again. Moreover, even if the Conservatives were, which is unlikely at least as the sole party in government, Cameron and most of his party will break every bone in their bodies, pull every trick in the book of dirty tricks to flood the country with EU financed "frighteners", half truths, to scare the population into voting to remain in this club which is intent on snuffing out nation states,and meaningful democracy , increasing totalitarian control from Brussels and generally favouring the big business divisions that benefit from the anti-competition effects of excessive EU derived regulations. Even harsher anti-Christian laws will be applied with increasing fervour, flowing from that so called court of human rights.
I do not trust Cameron or many of those in the Parliamentary Party to create a level playing for a rational, fair public debate to inform a referendum. It will be tilted in the favour of the EU. Heath took us in and Cameron and many of his ilk intend to continue to keep us trapped in the project, "The Super State"
The only way out, is to continue to grow UKIP, attract more Labour voters, and by becoming a threat to that party as well, eventually force them, to recognize the anti-europe feeling amongst their voters, leading to all main parties being manoeuvred into agreeing a referendum. Then we have to fight for the level playing field I referred to above. It is a long tough road but there is no other way.
Do not be fooled, and tricked again, Your Grace. This report falls way below your usual ethereal and therfore prescient self !

15 May 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger Naomi King said...

"Support for Britain's established parties is splintering, as Ukip appears poised to break the political mould by doubling its support within a single month, according to a Guardian/ICM poll."

Guardian/ICM poll sees Ukip double its support in a month amid unprecedented disillusionment with top three parties.

15 May 2013 at 13:37  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

I don't like any of them- labour is dominated by the public sector trade unions, the conservatives do whatever 'big' business tells them.

To me it really feels that the current government is out of touch has invented policies never in their manifestos, have ditched other ones (university fees), it feels like some kind of very rich liberal eton elite, which has never done a proper days work, which is governing the 'plebs', sorry the country with a distaste for ordinary people that would make even the most blue blooded patrician get twitchy..

The liberals will say anything to get into power; Cameron I have no idea what he really believes and acts like a chameleon; his party seems to self destruct over Europe every time they get into power... I doubt Milliband would be any better. I really have no time for any of them.

15 May 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

If Cameron had any honour at all, the referendum would coincide with the next general election.

What you would have then is vote Conservative and the referendum result is MORALLY BINDING on the next Conservative administration. As a matter of fact, that alone would probably win the election and pull the rug under UKIP.

Instead, we are given a trail of half promises, and confused possibilities. As Trading Standards offices up and down the country will tell you, if it appears to be too good to be true, it probably is...

ipso facto, the Inspector is still going to vote UKIP. There is not enough down on the table for him to do otherwise...

15 May 2013 at 14:04  
Blogger IanCad said...

The idea of any type of referendum is abhorrent to me.

We pride ourselves on our representative form of government. Our limits of choice in governance should be confined soley to selecting a worthy being to whom, hopefully, we assign the stewardsdship of our liberties.

The minute the notion is accepted that we can vote, up or down, on this or that, then we are affiliating ourselves with the principle of mob rule. Surely the most fearful of all systems of administration.

Deep within most of us is the desire for a king. We can, to some degree, meet this need in strong, principled elected representatives who can not only clearly articulate the varied issues affecting the affairs of state, but who are also well capable of not heeding the whims of our casual and transient natures.

Strong party leadership is essential. We have pygmies at the top whose guiding principle is the opinion poll.

Cameron must go.

Anyway, what's the betting that even if this misguided referendum takes place, it will fail?

15 May 2013 at 14:22  
Blogger Richard Armbach said...

Sorry to stray so far off topic but....Church of England Bishop gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar...

15 May 2013 at 14:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It’s even worse than that Iancad. The idea which is truly repellent is that each constituency MP does the bid and will not of the people he / she represents, but of someone they call ‘the party leader’.

Anyway, when the referendum is on, you go and hide in the woods. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to come back in...

15 May 2013 at 14:38  
Blogger Nick said...

There may be an innate desire in us for a king, but many of us would settle for a bit of integrity in our leaders. This coalition has given us everything we didn't ask for and don't want (gay marriage, exorbitant tuition fees, etc...) and nothing we did ask for (economic recovery, justice, etc...).

I don't look for total leadership in our politicians,but i do expect them to do what they say on the tin.

Instead, we have a bunch of posturing vote-grabbing chameleons forever coming up with political gimmicks (Nig Society, etc..) believing it will be popular. In reality, they are demoralising the nation and alienating people from the political system. Traitors in power are the worst kind of traitor.

15 May 2013 at 15:26  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This is just another of Call Me Dave's moves to try and out manoeuvre UKIP in the popularity stakes. The Conservatives under Dave are not going to get in again whatever clap trap he comes out with, it wont wash anymore. What would be both popular and progressive for the national interests is if they ditched Dave for either Boris or Michael Gove as leader. Put a strong party together with John Redwood, David Davis, Robert Halfon, Jacob Rees-Mogg (I think he's make a great culture and heritage secretary.) Conor Burns, Peter Bone, Bill Cash, Mark Reckless, Douglas Carswell, Daniel Hannen, William Hague, Teresa May. If they can come back Michael Portillo and Liam Fox,

They could form a coalition with UKIP, Nigel Farage and Boris would get on like a house on fire. We need action for a better Britain and we'll get that with Nigel.

I also think getting out of the EU will instil confidence in us as a country. It's like someone who is employed in a large corporate organisation in a totally unfulfilling job that depletes all his energy and creativity who takes the risk to go it alone and start his own business. Yes there is the element of risk but the rewards can be much greater.

Putting off a referendum until 2017 does not instil confidence and dithering for four whole years only to end up not having one if any of the other parties get in is really an obnoxious game to be playing. We need our referendum this year toward the end of September.

15 May 2013 at 15:45  
Blogger Nick said...

Strange that they could rush through the gay marriage bill, but this one, which actually matters, has to wait four years. Am I missing something here?

15 May 2013 at 15:50  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Good decision. I recommend that you read the newly revamped website. It is common sense write large. And the economists behind it are not fools, but academically accredited experts.

Representative democracy was a workable system when we had people of honour and integrity, with values rooted in some form of Christianity, in the house. The Labour Party was full of ardent Methodists, like my devout grandfather, a pillar of his local branch and church, but the MPs are , with a few notable exceptions, far distanced, often by several generations by now, from wholesome Christian experiences and worship, through which most of laity receive, by absorption from countless sermons and services, their practical understanding of the broad " Church".
The devout practising Methodists are few and far between in the Labour Party, from what I can see of it; moreover the historic link between the Tory Party and High Anglicanism, like my grandmother, is also equally unwell. As a Low Anglican myself ( I settled in the middle ! ) I see precious little "read across " between my branch of Christianity and the Conservative Party nowadays. This confused me in the past, as well making made me slightly sad to be given a hostile reception on Conservative websites, when explaining, in very gentle reasonable terms, the orthodox Anglican Christian viewpoint on various social matters.
Ukip is a very broad "church" but there is a genuine respect for all religious traditions, especially those with deep roots in these islands. Farage is on record as saying that he is happy for "Ukip to be the flag bearer for the Judaeo-Christian heritage" , which was another factor in me signing up for the party. To conclude, I am no sociologist or social anthropologist, but I am very clear that representative democracy is not working well now, probably for some very deep reasons that I will leave to the academics to identify, but at the practical level it will not work well again until the representatives start listening to the people and being in tune with them once more. Ukip is trying to do just that, I maintain. It is, I am convinced, the best hope as a tool to bring the "main" parties to their senses and get us out of the oppressive EU.

15 May 2013 at 16:01  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace.
David Hussell said; 'people of honour and integrity, with values rooted in some form of Christianity, in the house'

Did someone say 'Integrity'? That is precisely what we need. A party based on foundational principles of traditional morality.

15 May 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger LEN said...

Being a member of the EU is effecting every person in the UK.
A referendum is the very least we should have but can Dave be trusted to honour his word this time?.

UKIP seems to be the only way forward.

15 May 2013 at 17:59  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Nigel Farage: Europe has been hijacked by the EU project
(8th May 2013)

Yes they do seem the only way forward.

15 May 2013 at 19:52  
Blogger Peter D said...

David Hussell said...
"Representative democracy was a workable system when we had people of honour and integrity, with values rooted in some form of Christianity ....."

So too was free market liberalism. Remove Christian morality and ethics and man's base nature runs free.

Leaving the EU project needs to be accompanied by withdrawing from the the European Convention on Human Rights. This limits our freedom as much as Brussels - maybe more so.

Its ironic that what some used to see as a plot by the Vatican to regain cultural and political control of Europe has actually resulted in secular atheism winning out.

15 May 2013 at 21:32  
Blogger Manicbeancounter said...

The Act does not allow for an interesting conundrum. If the Scots foolishly vote for "Independence" prior to 2017, will they be allowed to vote if their exit is not complete? If the majority of the remaining Britains vote for "out", but the subservient Scots swing the vote for "IN", what sort of constitutional crisis would ensue?

15 May 2013 at 21:44  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, it is now quite clear that Cameron has lost the support of at least a third of the Conservative Party on two highly contentious issues, the EU and SSM.

UKIP stands as the polar opposite of the CP on both issues and Cameron is now at the mercy of Events. Each UKIP by-election success, every EU shock headline and each outrage by homosexuals or paedophiles is going to be another nail in Cameron's political coffin. It is becoming increasingly easy to portray Cameron as a man who stands against all that the electorate sees as good and right.

The Draft European Referendum Bill is regrettably just another stunt by a man who actually wants the Bill to fail. The electorate is not impressed by this kind of cynicism.

Award Mr Cameron a 'Fail' as PM on account of his trickery.

15 May 2013 at 22:25  
Blogger Lady Anne said...

Your Grace,

I see in other places the suggestion that, once the Lisbon Treaty becomes operative in Nov 2014, it will no longer be possible to hold a referendum on leaving the EU, because the EU would have to agree to us holding one.

Now, turkeys are notoriously reluctant to vote for Christmas, so such agreement will never be forthcoming.

Does anyone know whether this is true? If so, DC is even more Machiavellian than we had thought.

16 May 2013 at 00:10  
Blogger Naomi King said...

114 Tory MPs vote for the Baron amendment

130 MPs voted in favour of John Baron's amendment expressing regret at the absence of an EU Referendum Bill in the Queen's speech. 277 voted against.

Peter Bone, who was a teller for those supporting the amendment, has confirmed that 114 of the 130 were Tory MPs. That exceeds the 100 that Philip Hollobone was anticipating, and it far exceeds the 60 or so that some in Government were talking about. There were also 12 Labour MPs, 4 DUP and one Lib Dem.

This rebellion highly embarrassing for David Cameron. It seems that the draft EU Referendum Bill rushed out yesterday did very little to sway hearts and ayes. Many of his MPs don't think he's doing enough to reassure the public of his intentions.

And the whipping operation? According to Zac Goldsmith, this was a truly free vote with "no pressure from the Whips". But it doesn't shake the fact that Team Cameron isn't, to put it mildly, thrilled with the night's outcome – or, more exactly, with this whole shipwreck in the first place.

Here's the list of the 114 Tory MPs who supported the amendment:

Afriyie, Adam
Aldous, Peter
Amess, David
Andrew, Stuart
Bacon, Richard
Baker, Steve
Barclay, Stephen
Baron, John
Barwell, Gavin
Bebb, Guto
Bingham, Andrew
Binley, Brian
Blunt, Crispin
Brady, Graham
Bridgen, Andrew
Brine, Steve
Bruce, Fiona
Burley, Aidan
Burns, Conor
Burrowes, David
Byles, Dan
Cairns, Alun
Cash, William
Chishti, Rehman
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Cox, Geoffrey
Crouch, Tracey
Davies, David T. C.
Davies, Philip
Davis, David
de Bois, Nick
Dinenage, Caroline
Dorries, Nadine
Drax, Richard
Duddridge, James
Evans, Graham
Fullbrook, Lorraine
Gale, Sir Roger
Gray, James
Halfon, Robert
Hart, Simon
Henderson, Gordon
Howarth, Sir Gerald
Jackson, Stewart
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Gareth
Jones, Marcus
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kelly, Chris
Kirby, Simon
Leadsom, Andrea
Lee, Jessica
Lee, Dr Phillip
Leigh, Edward
Leslie, Charlotte
Lewis, Dr Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lord, Jonathan
Loughton, Tim
Lumley, Karen
Main, Anne
Maynard, Paul
McCartney, Jason
McCartney, Karl
McPartland, Stephen
Menzies, Mark
Mercer, Patrick
Metcalfe, Stephen
Mills, Nigel
Morris, David
Morris, James
Nokes, Caroline
Nuttall, David
Offord, Dr Matthew
Ollerenshaw, Eric
Patel, Priti
Penrose, John
Percy, Andrew
Phillips, Stephen
Pincher, Christopher
Raab, Dominic
Reckless, Mark
Redwood, John
Rees-Mogg, Jacob
Robertson, Laurence
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Selous, Andrew
Shelbrooke, Alec
Shepherd, Sir Richard
Smith, Henry
Spencer, Mr Mark
Stephenson, Andrew
Stevenson, John
Stewart, Iain
Streeter, Gary
Stride, Mel
Sturdy, Julian
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Tomlinson, Justin
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Andrew
Vickers, Martin
Walker, Charles
Walker, Robin
Wharton, James
Wheeler, Heather
White, Chris
Whittaker, Craig
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill
Wollaston, Dr Sarah
Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Ayes: Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Europe, John Bercow MP, Peter Bone MP, Philip Hollobone MP, Queen's Speech

16 May 2013 at 08:08  
Blogger Naomi King said...

From Conservative Home this morning ...

"The Prime Minister's EU referendum bill gambit was rushed out to quell the threat of a large number of Conservative MPs voting for John Baron's amendment to the Queen's Speech. Over 100 did - so the manoevre failed. That's roughly half of all Tory backbenchers. Blame must therefore lie either with the Whips, for failing to minimise the rebellion, or with Cameron himself, for failing to tell them to do so. The guidance consistent with both minimising the rebellion and good party management would have been to offer one of those free votes that aren't really free votes at all. Both Ministers and backbenchers would have been encouraged by the Whips to abstain, to drive down the number of Tory MPs supporting the Baron amendment.

One Conservative supporter of the amendment told me that he was given no guidance at all, and that at least one Parliamentary Private Secretary was seen hovering in the lobbies, watching and waiting to see which way his colleagues would jump. Others report much the same tale. It is bleakly clear that the blame for this breakdown of order lies not with Sir George Young - who has come back as Chief Whip to do the Prime Minister a favour - but with Cameron himself. in London, William Hague was reported as advising Tory backbenchers to vote against the amendment; in America, the Prime Minister said he was "intensely relaxed" about the outcome. Sending out mixed and muddled messages in this way would leave even the best Whips' Office rudderless.

The condition of the Whips is more than a piece of Westminster arcana. A breakdown in its reach and reputation is like wood rot: it gets into almost everything that government does - into its ability to get its business, the presentation of bills, the conduct of Minsters, the coherence and efficiency of Whitehall as well as Westminster. Cameron has managed his Whips Office badly. Too many of its members have been sacked, thereby devaluing its status as one of the few remaining institutions through which patronage can be exercised. Able MPs - Dominic Raab, Ben Wallace, Rob Wilson - have turned down jobs in it. This is not a sign of an institution with a rising reputation."

16 May 2013 at 08:24  
Blogger Naomi King said...

In an unprecedented Government split over the Queen’s Speech, 130 MPs in total voted to express “regret” at the lack of an EU poll pledge in the Coalition’s Parliamentary programme for the year ahead.

The unexpectedly high support for the rebel amendment tabled by senior Tory backbencher John Baron took party whips by surprise.

In a bizarre split, Tory ministers abstained on the issue while dozens of Conservative backbenchers voted to criticise their own Government. The amendment was rejected by 277 votes, overwhelmingly from Labour MPs.

But buoyed by the support from his fellow Tories, Mr Baron said: “This shows we are winning the argument. We are going to keep at this because we have got to address the issue of public trust.

16 May 2013 at 08:30  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Playing down the significance of yesterday’s rebellion, Dave Cameron said: “I don’t think people can read in anything really to the scale of that free vote.”

16 May 2013 at 08:32  
Blogger Jan van Riebeeck said...

Divide and rule. By 2017 a new Northern European Euro-zone will be organized and European membership redefined, so that Britain will stay in effectively, and the majority of the conservatives will follow for economic reason.

Money always talks harder than principles in conservative politics.

If the new zone effectuates, Cameron can claim the question in the referendum pertained to the old EU structure.

Yesterday's vote indicates combined with your Grace's enthusiasm, representative for a large contingent of conservatives indicates that at this moment Cameron does no longer have a majority in the party, while a private members bill is likely to fail because the members of parliament are not presently voting representatively for Britain on the issue.

That is why you need a referendum now, but one which outcome will automatically become law. Learn from the Dutch and the French. The population said overwhelmingly no, but with window-dressing and through backdoor Brussels will was legislated anyway.

If members of Parliament call for a referendum, they should first enlighten their prime minister, and tell him that a real referendum is not a glorified opinion poll.

Divide,rule, and postpone.

16 May 2013 at 08:38  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Dateline 16th May 2013

"There has rarely been a fair, open and un-manipulated Referendum on the European Union organised by any State. The worst examples have been in Ireland where, having lost, the Irish political and corporate establishments always organised a second referendum changing the funding rules to greatly disadvantage the "No" campaigns. There has never been an opportunity for an informed electorate to express their real political will. There has always been a "question" to which the answer the Governments wanted was "Yes". So there was a double manipulation - the form of the question which usually guided the voter ("Do you agree that…..") and the manipulation of "Yes". Therefore there must be no question - just alternative statements.

David Cameron cannot command the House of Commons, so is unable to pass the Referendum legislation in this Parliament. (Indeed he cannot even present a Government Bill because his Coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, don't want a vote) However a Government supported private members Bill could be put to the vote exposing the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties as anti democratic and euro-fanatical. The consequences for them at the next election would be clear.


16 May 2013 at 15:13  
Blogger Naomi King said...

But David Cameron may well suffer the same problem in the next Parliament unless a cross-party majority is assembled which is committed to voting for a clear and fair Referendum Bill which will allow the electorate a true democratic voice. Legislation relating to the EU and indeed all important constitutional matters have always required cross party support. Committing to supporting Referendum Bills which allow Government to both initiate the referendum and to legislate its result will place Opponents at a serious electoral disadvantage. Therefore the Referendum Bill must also cover the implementation of the will of the people by Parliament after a vote. These then are the minimum requirements for an honest democratic referendum:

1. Only British citizens will be permitted to vote

2. The Government will not be active in the referendum other than as a member of one side. A Referendum is of the People and the Government shall have no separate role to play.

3. There will be only two active parties in the referendum and they will each provide scrutineers at all count venues and at the postal ballot count.

4. Only Government funds, split equally, will be available to each side. No contributions will be allowed from business, trade unions, the European Commission or any third party nor will any third party be permitted to provide any materials, services or facilities whatsoever to the competing campaigns or to the British public in any form.

5. The result of the Referendum will be binding on Parliament and politicians. Should the decision be to leave the European Union then the 1972 European Act will be repealed and the United Kingdom will leave the European Union and begin negotiations AS A SOVEREIGN UNENCUMBERED STATE to establish free trading and co-operation agreements with the EU together with other EEA States not part of the European Union. The UK will not act under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty since the country will no longer be part of that constitutional Law.

6. The Question put to the electorate should be in the form of alternative statements: "I want the UK to accept the renegotiated membership of the European Union" or "I want the UK to form a free trading self governing relationship with the European Union" - put in two separate boxes at the same level on the ballot paper.

7. If the negotiations conducted for a new relationship with the EU are not concluded by the time the Referendum must be held (December 31st 2017), the alternative statements (see above) put to the electorate must reflect the fact that there has been no successful renegotiation and the choice must be between the existing arrangements and "I want the UK to form a free trading self governing relationship with the European Union"."

16 May 2013 at 15:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

In the last week Clegg and Cable have both suggested on radio 4 that 3.5 million jobs will be in danger if we leave, the pro-EU BBC let them get away with it. We all know this particular claim is a lie since trade will not be affected by political decoupling and in any event we have a trade deficit with Europe but this issue was not addressed by the interviewer.

There is nothing in this draft bill about a level playing field in a referendum debate. BBC bias will have a huge effect.

17 May 2013 at 05:48  
Blogger Naomi King said...

UKIP gains Council by-election seat in Rawmarsh, Rotherham

UKIP’s Caven Vines has just been elected to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council on an impressive 46.5% of the vote, narrowly beating the Labour Party. Conservatives, BNP, Trade Unionists and the Liberal Democrats all stood, but each got less than 5% of the vote – proving that in many Northern areas, UKIP is now the only real alternative to Labour. The result in full:

Caven Vines – UKIP – 1143

Labour - 1039

Conservative - 107

BNP – 80

TUSC – 60

Lib Dems – 28

One interesting feature which those from outside the area might not immediately notice is that the Rawmarsh ward is not part of the Rotherham constituency where UKIP put in such a huge effort at the Parliamentary by-election. It is in fact in the neighbouring constituency of Wentworth and Dearne. UKIP's opponents therefore cannot claim that this incredible result was purely down to the massive effort that went into the Rotherham Parliamentary seat in November. UKIP often talk about the European elections in 2014, but in Rotherham the 2014 Council elections could see significant UKIP gains – both in Rotherham and in Wentworth & Dearne.

17 May 2013 at 15:40  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Margaret Thatcher listened to voters – now it’s Nigel Farage who hears their despair

Ukip is no longer a single-issue party, it is widening its scope and enjoys the common touch with core voters that the main parties lack.

17 May 2013 at 20:11  

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