David Cameron has now hoisted himself by his own petard. He's had to admit that once Brown/Parliament have ratified the latest EU Treaty, it will be 'too difficult' to hold a retrospective referendum.
So, that's that issue neutralised, in that Cameron will be unable to use it as a campaigning issue in the run-up to the general election. Also he is now under fire from the Europhobes in his party for this latest admission. Marvellous! I love it when a plan falls apart.
So, the Liberal Democrats are now the only party proposing any form of referendum on the EU. That is on the whole issue of our membership of the EU - out or in. Yes or no.
By the way, I think this position is subject to ratification by the whole party. But certainly Ming, Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg have all rejected a referendum on the EU Treaty and proposed a referendum on membership. The latter two confirmed this on Sunday on The Andrew Marr Show thus:
ANDREW MARR: Would either of you give this country a referendum on the European Treaty?
NICK CLEGG: No.
CHRIS HUHNE: No, but I do think we need a referendum on the big issues.
NICK CLEGG: Absolutely.
So, perhaps Ming should be thanked for a masterstroke here, after all, bless him. It's turned out that (once the treaty is ratified) Cameron hasn't got anything to campaign on, and has been left with Europhobes in his party fuming at him, while the LibDems emerge as the only party, post ratification, proposing a referendum on the EU.
Oh, actually, perhaps Cameron has got something to campaign on. He could campaign as the leader of the party who refused Britain a referendum when it actually mattered (i.e on Common Market entry in the first place, on the Single European Act and on the Maastricht treaty) but instead promised us a faux-referendum on a revising treaty which was only significant when you add it as an increment to all the other treaties since Rome.