Gordon Brown has rejected calls for a UK referendum on the replacement for the EU constitution, despite it being called for this time by labour supporting Unions.
There was one important quote in the BBC report which led me to think the party is out of step on Europe and needs to get its message across loud and clear. The line was ;
" The GMB and RMT had joined the Tories and UKIP in demanding a vote by tabling motions for the TUC annual conference. "
If this is correct, we in the Liberal Democrats are not calling for a referendum or if we are we have been so vague about it that the press (and the general public) do not know.
Back in the back in the 1990's when the single currency was always being discussed, the party could always say "but we would support a referendum when the people could decide". Indeed, on a whole range of tricky EU issues the Liberal Democrats have always supported a referendum which allowed the more sceptical Europeans like myself and the more pro Europeans to be able to share the same policy.
As it stands, if we are the only major political force not demanding the Labour calls a referendum on the EU constitution, and calling for it publicly and as often as possible, we will lose support, votes and MEP come next year.