We won’t get a referendum on our continuing membership of the European Union.
It’s all been stitched up in advance. A three-line whip of Tory MPs scuppers any realistic hope of getting the vote through the Commons.
A decent minority of principled MPs will support a referendum – mainly Conservatives but with a smattering of Labour MPs.
The Lib-Dems should also vote in favour of the referendum because, despite their Europhilia, they have in the past acknowledged the need for the consent of the people to the creation of a Superstate.
But they won’t want to risk a No-vote in a referendum and will hide behind the Coalition whip.
In a free vote, it is still possible there wouldn’t be a majority in Parliament for a referendum even though we all know there is a sizable majority in favour of one in the country at large.
But we shall probably never know.
Monday’s Commons vote is a rare opportunity for MPs to “speak for England”. Alas, the majority will almost certainly remain dumb.