British Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague recently announced that a future Conservative Government is likely to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, even if it has been ratified by the time of the next General Election. A new Populus poll published in the Times today has revealed that 82% of the British electorate supports a retrospective referendum.
At the last general election, all three major political parties were committed to holding a referendum on the European Constitution. After the Constitution’s rejection in referenda in France and Holland, EU leaders simply changed its name to the Lisbon Treaty and kept all but two of Constitution’s provisions. Despite the gross duplicity on the part of the European Union, only the Conservative Party thereafter maintained their manifesto commitment to holding a referendum on the Treaty. Apart from maintaining trust with the electorate, it is also smart politics for the Conservative Party, whose poll numbers look set to sweep them into office at the next election.
The Lisbon Treaty is an affront to democracy that lacks any semblance of popular support or legitimacy. It also threatens the transatlantic relationship, and underscores the EU’s ambitions to become a global power and challenge American leadership on the world stage. If the Conservative’s make good on their pledge to take the Treaty to the British public, it will almost certainly be rejected and hopefully save Europe from itself.