Monday, 3 March 2008

Lisbon Treaty Referendum

A campaign for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty sends you a letter and a ballot paper. You are against the idea of a referendum. Why would you bother to return the ballot paper and give credibility to the exercise? You very probably wouldn't.

Magically, 88% of those who responded to iwantareferendum's private plebiscite voted for a referendum. 89% were against the Lisbon Treaty. Hmmmm.....eerily similar wouldn't you say? (Though I would love to know what the motivation is for the 1% of respondents who seem to not want a referendum but don't support the treaty....)

So we can dismiss this whole exercise.

In order for the European Union to be able to move on those issues where common action is critical- climate change, employment rights, international aid, economic development and many others- institutional reform is necessary. The same architecture does not work for 27 as it did for 15. So it is about European nations being able to face common threats and challenges and remain masters of our own destiny. That is why the Lisbon Treaty is so important just like the other reform treaties that have gone before it since the inception of the EU. Without support for the treaty it is impossible to craft a realistic policy on issues such as climate change. The Tories seem to have fallen into this very trap.

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