Next we will get a cast-iron guarantee of prolonged institutional wrangling for the Conservative Party, Britain and the European Union, when David Cameron abandons his previous pledge to arrange a UK referendum on the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
Later today, Tory leader David Cameron will present his party’s new policy on Europe, after his “fifth column”, Czech president Vaclav Klaus signed the ratification instrument of the Lisbon Treaty, democratically approved by the people of Ireland and 26 national parliaments. After the 27th and final ratification, the reform treaty is now set to enter into force from 1 December 2009.
David Cameron and William Hague have been preparing the ground for shredding the referendum promise, because they have finally conceded that a plebiscite on the Lisbon Treaty has lost its meaning. This has not gone down well with the anti-EU press or with secessionist opinion, inside and outside the Conservative Party, because they have not promised a plebiscite on UK membership. The Tory government is in trouble long before it takes office.
The political parties accuse each other of broken promises, crusading media stir up anti-European emotion and the comments columns are filled with outcries against treachery.
For an outsider, it feels like a return to the dark ages of witch-hunts and pogroms to follow the EU discussion in Britain. Public opinion seems nearly totally disconnected from the European Union and European solidarity, indeed any sense of belonging or responsibility.
Whatever the Tory leadership says: prognosis pessima.
The Telegraph, Benedict Brogan: Doesn’t anyone get angry in the Tory party any more? (2 November 2009)
The Guardian, Nicholas Watt & Patrick Wintour: David Cameron to shed ‘cast iron’ pledge on Lisbon Treaty (3 November 2009)
The Guardian, Barry Legg: Cameron’s EU treaty treachery (3 November 2009)
The Telegraph, Rosa Prince: Grassroots Tories’ fury at David Cameron over Lisbon referendum (3 November 2009)
The Irish Times, Mark Hennessy: Cameron referendum musings return to haunt him (4 November 2009)
The Sun, Tom Newton-Dunn: Britain betrayed as hated EU treaty becomes law (4 November 2009)
Mail Online, David Davis: A referendum Mr Cameron COULD give the people (4 November 2009)
The Independent, Nigel Morris & Michael Savage: Czechs leave Cameron stranded over Lisbon treaty (4 November 2009)
Times Online, Francis Elliott & Philip Webster: Tories under pressure to hold referendum on EU reform after Lisbon backtrack (4 November 2009)
Times Online, editorial: Lisbon and After (4 November 2009)
Sky News, Jon Craig: David Cameron Denies Lisbon Treaty Sell-Out (4 November 2009)
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
The public atmosphere in England is toxic enough to require a brighter end note, such as Nosemonkey’s “Liveblogging the Lisbon apocalypse” (3 November 2009).
P.S. Read interesting Euroblogs on multilingual Bloggingportal.eu.