4/01/2008

Confusion and contradiction over the EU constitution

News that Lib Dem peers will vote against plans for a referendum on the EU Constitution should come as no surprise to anyone since the whole messed up Lib Dem policy to the referendum seems to have come as a result of some pressure from Lib Dem lords in the first place.

What I do find odd though is Shirley Williams response that

" never in Britain has there been an objective attempt to explain the European Union to our people and they have been subjected to the most astonishing propaganda, not least from major influences in the printed press."

The obvious question is then why are Lib Dem lords opposing a referendum when it is the ideal opportunity for the pro EU lobby to make its case. If the EU Constitution/Reform Treaty really does limit the EU's powers and draw lines in the sand it should be easy to sell this to the British public and at the same time educate the country about the benefits of the EU.

You might have imagined, given that Lib Dem MP's were told to abstain that Lib Dem peers would have been given the same advice. But oddly the Lib Dem line in the House of Lords is to back Labour. Isn't this another contradiction ? Surely if Nick Clegg's policy was right for the Commons, why isn't it right in the Lords ?

More importantly isn't this change of tack a sign that actually Nick Clegg got things very wrong when ordering Lib Dem MP's to abstain ? The whole thing is compounding a bad decision in the first place by now making the party inconsistent.

3 comments:

Johnny Norfolk said...

There is nothing to explain. The lie we were given when we voted to go in was that it was for trade and free movement of goods and people, nothing more. In fact it is a United States of Europe.
I want Britain as an independent country, Local government has little power and now Westminster has little power when it all goes to the EU. Our 3rd rate politicions will the just shrug their shoulders and blame the EU. Can people not see what is happening we are becomming a none country.

lettersfromatory said...

It is amazing that the pro-EU lobby misses every single opportunity to debate the Lisbon Treaty and a referendum, to the point where one might think they were worried about losing!

Anonymous said...

"The obvious question is then why are Lib Dem lords opposing a referendum when it is the ideal opportunity for the pro EU lobby to make its case."

Because a three-month campaign by "the political class" in the current climate would not be enough to counter the persistent xenophobic lies that have been going about in the tabloids and the right-wing papers for decades. And nor would three months be enough to explain the real but complex benefits of the Treaty.

Lib Dems agree the Treaty is good for Britain and for Europe - but would be lost in a referendum. The natural conclusion on that is not so difficult.

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