Political decisions by the speaker should be met with an equally political response

There is little doubt that the Speaker's refusal to accept the Lib Dems amendment to the EU Treaty vote in parliament is a blatantly political act. To refuse to allow a party to submit it's own motion in the way Michael Martin has (and noticeably left Deputy Speaker Michael Lord to carry the can) on an important issue such as this shows an astonishing amount of political interference from the Speaker, and a real lack of unbiased an fair treatment for all sides.

However, this political move from the speaker should be seen as an opportunity to light the touch paper for an equally political response from the Lib Dems.

Why don't the Lib Dems now accept that the choice is a referendum on the EU treaty or not. With the speaker, a Labour politician doing so much to try and protect his Scottish friend in number 10 Downing Street, the Lib Dems need to wake up to the need for a more suitable political response. Let's put Gordon Brown in a corner and show him that the Lib Dems too can fight back. Let's support calls for a referendum on the EU Constitution and take the fight to Gordon Brown.

It can still be party policy to support a wider referendum in the future, but for now only one referendum is on offer and it deserves our support.


Anonymous said...

This is egg on Nick Clegg's face given that he only yesterday offered Speaker Martin his personal support.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with Justin's comments, I do not see how this can realistically be construed as a politically motivated act. Labour is surely greatful for the LD distraction from opposition to the Treaty and therefore you'd have thought throwing them the sap of a debate on a referendum which will not be a current priority regardless would have been the more politically sensible move....

Anonymous said...

In fairness to the Speaker, the Liberal Democrat amendment was irrelevant to the Motion. That related only to specific changes included in the Lisbon Treaty, not to the totality of all the EU Treaties from the 1957 Treaty of Rome up to and including the entire Lisbon Treaty. They'll have to try harder than this, if they hope to get away with wriggling out of their manifesto pledge


The Motion proposed by the Prime Minister:

"That this House approves the Government’s policy towards the Treaty of Lisbon in respect of provisions concerning the effectiveness of the EU institutions and EU decision-making."

The amendment which the Liberal Democrats tabled:

"Line 3, at end add ‘except that this House considers that, in the light of Article 1, paragraph 58 of the Treaty of Lisbon, inserting into the Treaty on European Union Article 49A which provides for Member States to withdraw from the Union in accordance with their own constitutional requirements, the Government should declare its intention that, once the Treaty of Lisbon has come into force, there will be a referendum on the United Kingdom’s continuing membership of the European Union.’."

Anonymous said...

Nick Clegg has brilliantly dug himself into a hole on the EU. He openly supports a Speaker who put down his own frontbencher, after backtracking on Ming Campbell's commitment to an EU referendum then promising a vote on EU membership.

I doubt the public are impressed by this. So much for his 'media savvy'.

Joe Otten said...

The speaker has no friends. And it's no surprise is it, acting like this.