I’ve just had an email from David Cameron, along with trillions of others who haven’t managed to ditch his spam, insisting the Tories are the only party we can trust to deliver a referendum on the EU.
He has, not unreasonably, taken advantage of Ed Miliband’s announcement that a
referendum would be unlikely under a Labour Government.
Miliband's decision is disappointing and somewhat perverse.
But now, with the Lib Dems led by a fully paid-up Citizen of Europe, you might think
Dave’s pledge might be of some importance.
But after reneging on his ‘cast iron’ promise to hold a referendum following the signing
away of more sovereignty in the Lisbon Treaty, surely any pledge has to be
He has seen the Referendum Bill thrown out in the Lords and shows no sign of
trying to give it another chance. And anyway he decided to leave it to a
backbench MP to push through rather than giving it the impetus of Government.
He has no idea of what ‘renegotiation’ he might achieve before putting it to a
referendum (incidentally if there ever were a plebiscite we know with absolute certainty that he and his party would combine with
Labour and the Lib-Dems to skew the question and campaign to keep Britain in
Cameron has also rejected the chance to hold a referendum before 2017 . There is no good reason why it couldn’t be held this year but the few
brave souls in the Tory party who suggested it were comprehensively rubbished
by their own colleagues.
The odds are slowly and deliberately being stacked against anyone who might
campaign for withdrawal from the EU. But the chances of ever getting one are
There is only one party which could demolish this cosy consensus and force a
referendum on the Europhile triumvirate taking it in turns to run this country
under orders from Brussels and that’s UKIP.
Nigel Farage’s party may have its drawbacks – more than a few loose cannons, little
money and even less organisation – but only UKIP would deliver a referendum.
The Conservatives have been a massive disappointment. Even William Hague seems
to have gone native since his elevation to the Foreign Office.
You can argue about electoral tactics. A vote for UKIP may, in some places, be
a vote for Labour. But that doesn’t matter any more because a Miliband Government
will be scarcely any different from a Cameron-Clegg one anyway; certainly not
in relation to the EU and that means in relation to everything from purchase taxes (VAT) to prisoners' rights.
Cameron is Blair by other means (only Gordon Brown, let’s not forget, stood between
us and the Euro). But an overwhelming vote against the tripartite status quo
would force at least two of the losers – Labour and Conservatives – into a
reappraisal of their Europhile policies.
I still think UKIP should not fight every Westminster seat. It should enter
into a constituency-by-constituency non-aggression pact with those MPs,
whatever their colour, who pledge to support a referendum at the earliest
Complete withdrawal from the EU may be the aim but the first step is to secure
a referendum. The bigger the UKIP vote – at Euro elections and at the General
Election – the greater the pressure there will be on mainstream politicians to
offer us a chance to escape the evil empire.
You kip if you want to; UKIP's not for turning.