Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Puzzling response

During the debate on the European Union Bill yesterday evening, in particular on the detail of when and how any referendum would be held, from Hansard: 
"25 Jan 2011 : Column 254
Emma Reynolds: I have just two questions of clarification for the Minister and to ask him whether he can confirm that the Government will not repeat the recent mistakes on the alternative vote referendum. First, will they commit to consulting the devolved Administrations regarding the timing of any referendum triggered by the Bill? Secondly, will he make a commitment today that any such referendum would not take place on the same day as the devolved Assemblies elections?

Mr Lidington: We will not give a commitment about specific dates for referendums that are not going to be held before 2015 at the earliest. There are advantages and disadvantages to holding referendums on the same days as other elections, and it is certainly considerably less expensive to the taxpayer if a referendum can be combined with a ballot for other purposes."
 From Lidington's response it would appear that there will not be any referendum held prior to 2015, hence one has to ask what is the purpose of the European Union Bill, other than for the Coalition to further bury us even deeper into the European Union between now and then, whilst negating any possibility of the electorate upsetting their plans.

The point about there not being any referendum prior to 2015 was reinforced by William Cash (column 229):
"Mr Cash: I cannot resist intervening. The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the Minister for Europe has said that there is no chance or intention of holding a referendum under the proposals in this Bill until the next Parliament at the earliest-we are in dead parrot territory."

I find Lidington's answer a tad worrying......................

7 comments:

pop said...

You must have missed Hagues statement some time ago about this bill.

He said that the coalition had already committed itself to not transferring more power to the EU so there could be no circumstance under which the coalition could trigger one of these referenda.

Which also demonstrates why the government deciding what is/is not important enough for a referenda is entirely bogus too!

So by his definition anything the coalition do is fine - whatever Roger Helmer thinks! http://conservativehome.blogs.com/centreright/2010/10/has-the-coalition-lost-the-plot-on-the-eu.html

WitteringsfromWitney said...

No Pop, I did not miss Hague's statement.

As this shows:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm80/8000/8000.pdf

Their acceptance rate is running at 62% - carry that forward for the next 4 years and consider how much deeper in we will be!

Sean O'Hare said...

I think Cameron has previously stated that there will be no EU Referendum during this parliament as no significant powers would transferred. Now what he regards as "significant" obviouly differs greatly from you and me. Other than Ukippers and a tory rump no-one else, least of all the MSM, seem aware that any powers have been transferred.

More than a tad worrying, but I think it will all be over, one way or another, before 2015. We can but hope it goes our way.

Woodsy42 said...

It's all irrelevent. There will be no referendum, whether before 2015 or after 2015, unless something is done about a government system that rules entirely for their own benefit and shows such arrogant disregard for the will of the people.

William said...

Woodsy42 has it.

Anonymous said...

So this legislation is entirely about misleading the electorate?

Martin

James Higham said...

It's pretty clear what the agenda is and Lidington just confirms that.