EU Referendum - presentation of petition (January 16th 2008)
North Thanetís MP, Roger Gale, will on Monday 21st January present to the House of Commons a petition signed by several thousand constituents and calling for a binding referendum on the European Reform Treaty.
The Government's "Reform Treaty Bill" designed to give approval to the Treaty of Lisbon signed by Gordon Brown, is expected to commence its passage through parliament on Monday.
The petition reads:
To the House of Commons
The petition of residents of Kent
Declares that the proposed draft European Reform Treaty is similar in all but insignificant detail to the withdrawn European Constitution: notes that this fact has been confirmed in the 35th report of Session 2006-2007 of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee and notes that the Committee has found that the timetable for the adoption of the reform Treaty now proposed "having regard to the sitting terms of national parliaments could not have been better designed to marginalise their role".
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons calls upon the Government of the United Kingdom to put the proposals, in coherent form, for consideration by the British electorate in a binding referendum before ratifying any further proposed Reform treaty or constitution by another name.
Commenting on the petition Roger Gale says:
I believe that the Government should be left in no doubt about the strength of public feeling on this issue. That the Prime Minister felt compelled, before Christmas, to slink off to sign the Lisbon Agreement on his own and after all other European Leaders demonstrates his desire to distance himself from this squalid deal. Unfortunately, while he may not appear in the European `Team Photograph` his signature is still on the paper and it has been placed there, I would suggest, in direct defiance of the wishes of the majority of the British people.
This Government promised a referendum on a constitution. The treaty is a Constitution by another name and any honourable administration would hold the referendum. If Brown does not do so then I do not believe that at the next election he will be allowed to put this down to "incompetence"!