Europe - "Government has no popular mandate for Treaty" - Roger Gale (October 4th 2009)
North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, has today (Sunday 4th October) said that the current government "has no mandate to drag Britain into the Lisbon Treaty". Speaking on the eve of the Conservative Party conference the MP said:
"This is a Labour government that has run out of time and that has run out of steam. It is highly questionable whether or not it any longer has any mandate to govern at all but it is completely clear that to take Britain into the Lisbon Treaty without the promised referendum on the Constitution would be quite wrong. The Lisbon Treaty did not form part of the last government election manifesto and there is clearly little or no popular support for a constitutional change that may have been forced though parliament under a government majority but, as the Constitution under another name, should have been the subject of national approval also.
It is many years since the Country expressed a view in a referendum on the Common Market, which was seen as a trading partnership and not as approval for a United States of Europe, and the time has clearly arrived when the people of the United Kingdom must be allowed to voice their opinion on the future of our Country.
I want to see my own party make a clear commitment to a referendum on the Treaty whether or not it has, by the time of the next general election, been ratified. I understand those that say that if the treaty is already ratified then the result of a referendum would be worth little more than opinion poll but I do not share that view. I simply do not believe that the people of Britain want to live under a European Presidency - particularly not if that President were to be the discredited Mr. Blair - or to sign up to common foreign and defence policies. If the people of the Country reject the European federal dream then the government must respond to that view and take such steps as are necessary to legally extricate ourselves from the terms of the treaty."