Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Huhne: UK must have referendum on whether to use the new right of countries to leave the EU

Chris Huhne reiterated this evening that he will vote for a referendum on EU membership but against a referendum on the Reform Treaty.

However, he fascinatingly reminded us that the Reform Treaty includes, for the first time in Europe's history, a measure which allows countries to leave the union:

Secession: Just like the rejected Constitutional Treaty, the Reform Treaty will include a provision that makes it possible for EU member states for the first time to legally and officially terminate their membership. While there has been an instance where a territory has ceased to be part of the EC (Greenland in 1985), there is currently no regulated opportunity to exit the European Union.

Chris says that, if elected leader, he would propose that, after the Reform Treaty is made law, we should propose that there is a referendum in the UK as to whether we should make use of this new measure to leave the EU.

An excellent political move, that - especially, Chris pointed out, as the Tories will be left floundering. Cameron was asked today by Brown whether, once the treaty is on the statute books, he would have a referendum on membership. Of course, Cameron doesn't want that, because it would leave the Tory party split right down the middle!

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