Thursday, November 22, 2007

Huhne reaches out

Well, we're supposed to be reaching out, being our natural constituency, so it is good to know that the Telegraph has gone a bundle on Chris Huhne's proposal to have a referendum on English votes for English matters in the House of Commons. (You can click below to see him being interviewed on Telegraph TV).

BUT - Chris emphasises that this should be part of a comprehensive constitutional reform package:

You cannot deal with all the loose ends in the UK's unwritten constitution - an unelected second chamber, unrepresentative first chamber, lack of entrenched rights and the messy anomalies of devolution - without a comprehensive settlement.

We should convene a constitutional convention of not just the political class but civic society, and come up with proposals that could be put to a referendum. So I agree that a referendum is the end process by which we approve new constitutional arrangements.

Chris Huhne also repeated the proposal for a EU membership referendum, and the Telegraph features this prominently also:

We should have a referendum after the Reform Treaty is approved on whether to stay in or leave the European Union, because the Reform Treaty for the first time contains a clause on secession and this is an obvious point at which to hold the referendum we should have had after the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty.

I also note Chris' "nuanced" (Stephen Tall's description) answer to the immigration question on Newsnight. We have had Chris described as the inward-looking candidate, so you can hardly criticise him when he reaches out to Telegraph readers and the like (without compromising our values and policies, I believe), can you?

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