I Want A Referendum - Droitwich Standard

There's a lot of speculation about an election but there's another vote I think we ought to have too - a referendum on the new European treaty.

Politicians are often accused of saying one thing and doing another. Such allegations do a great deal to undermine the trust people have in politicians - a trust which is crucial to our democracy.

This government made a specific promise concerning the European Constitution at the last election and that promise could not have been clearer. Their manifesto said: "We will put it to the British people in a referendum, and campaign wholeheartedly for a Yes vote."

Now, all talk of a referendum is off the cards. Circumstances have changed, they argue. It is no longer a constitutional treaty, just a tidying-up exercise. However, despite changing the name of the document, the content is still very much the same. Just like the document that was comprehensively dumped by the French and Dutch voters in 2005, this revamped document proposes a pan-European President and Foreign Minister, with member states handing more power to a federal government.

I am against the United Kingdom signing up to this treaty, and will be arguing against it loudly. However, this column is not the place for a political ding-dong. Rather, whether you support the treaty or not, the best way to debate the issue would be during a referendum campaign. The result would be definitive, and put to an end once and for all the "Brussels Question" that hangs over us.

The Government should put it to the country. The only reason they won't do so is that they're afraid they will lose. In my view, a Government that is prepared to break its promises rather than sticking to its declared principles is not fit for office.


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