I WAS fascinated to read Andrew Stephenson’s column last week and follow his contortions as he aligned himself in principle with the Eurosceptics while at the same time slickly keeping a careful compass bearing on his own career path by voting with the Government.
Mr Stephenson was right to point out the Conservative Party never promised an “in/out” referendum at the 2010 General Election.
The policy the Conservative Party stood on is conveniently placed at page 113 of their manifesto:
“Restore democratic control: In future, the British people must have their say on any transfer of powers to the European Union. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum – a ‘referendum lock’. A Conservative government would never take the UK into the Euro. Our amendment to the 1972 Act will prevent any future government from doing so without a referendum.”
It is a policy which an old left winger like me would be happy to support.
Given that this is the policy that each and every loyal Conservative candidate stood on at the 2010 General Election, perhaps Mr Stephenson can explain to us why a substantial number of his parliamentary colleagues deliberately chose to humiliate and wound David Cameron (not to mention the damage it would have caused at a time of great economic uncertainty) by voting for a referendum on the UK’s membership. I will be fascinated to read the answer.
Chatsworth Close, Barrowford