Just how unimpressed is UKIP on Tory EU referendum?
UKIP really gives no quarter to David Cameron on the EU. This UKIP MEP candidate really socks it to the Tories, in case you hadn't got it!
Adam Afriyie's already abortive attempt to force the Tory party to hold its sham referendum on the EU before the 2015 General Election, - although biting the dust before getting off the ground - has nonetheless had the useful effect of again turning a spotlight on David Cameron's transparently fake device for kicking the EU issue into the long post-election grass.
Afriyie's kite-flying has more to do with his naked ambition to succeed Cameron as Tory leader than with any real desire to extract Britain from the EU morass.
He cares so passionately about the issue, in fact, that he did not join the 81 Tory rebel MPs who defied Cameron to call for an In/Out referendum two years ago in October 2011 - but abstained instead, so his interest in giving the voters their say is of very recent origin, and about as genuine as Cameron's own.
So let's just remind ourselves of David Cameron's 'Europolitik'. This is the man who complained that the Tories 'kept banging on about Europe' and dedicated his early leadership to sweeping the whole issue under a very lumpy carpet, branding members of the only genuine anti-EU party UKIP as 'Fruitcakes and closet racists'. He reneged on a 'cast iron guarantee' to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty as soon as he got his sticky fingers on the levers of power.
He slapped down subsequent attempts by Tory Eurosceptics to hold a referendum, imposing a three-line whip against them in October 2011 ( the vote that Adam Afriyie abstained in). It was only when UKIP began to siphon off Tory votes in increasing numbers, and Conservative party members defected in hordes that Cameron suddenly changed his public Europhile tune.
In January this year he announced that he would, after all, allow a referendum on whether Britain should stay inside the EU.
Wonderful news! But when? Ah...not for a while. In spite of the fact that Cameron is to allow Scottish voters their choice on whether to remain inside the Union in their referendum next year, the rest of Britain will not be so lucky. They won't get to vote on that other Union for a good long time yet.
Not for almost five years in fact. Iin 2017, and only then if the Cameron Conservatives have won a majority in the 2015 General Election - a prospect that looks less and less likely. This 'pledge' is as phoney as one of Bernie Madoff's pension plans.
No Parliament can bind its successor, so even if the Commons passes the Bill proposed by Cameron's' stooge James Wharton, committing to a future referendum, it will have no constitutional force or validity whatsoever. Come 2015 it will be null and void : an empty and worthless promise made by a hollow and vacuous Prime Minister.
But let us suppose for a moment that the moon really is made of green cheese: that Cameron's Conservatives sweep all before them, and win a thumping absolute majority in 2015, what then? Cameron says that by 2017 he will have re-negotiated our relationship with the EU, won back substantial lost powers, and be able, hand on heart, to recommend our continuing membership of a shiny new, reformed and acceptable European Union.
That, in other words, the leopard's spots will have been scrubbed away, the EU will abandon its goal of 'ever closer union' and that - single handed- David Cameron will have halted the march towards an undemocratic Federal European superstate.
Is that remotely credible? What if the negotiations fail ( as EU President Jose Barosso, no less, has recently said they surely will). Will Cameron, having tried and failed to change the EU's entire raison d'etre, go to the country and say 'I'm sorry - but we will have to leave'. Of course not : he has already said that no matter what the outcome of his pretend negotiations, he will recommend that we remain locked inside the Leviathan.
But its even worse than that: if the British people vote to come out, David Cameron will ignore their wishes. In a little-noticed interview that he gave in April to the El Pais newspaper - the Spanish equivalent of The Guardian - Cameron was asked if, in the event of an 'Out' vote, he would honour the British people's desire and lead the country through the EU's exit door.
Cameron replied 'No Me Gustaria' which translates as either 'I wouldn't want to' or more baldly, 'I would not'.
So there we have it. David Cameron, a Europhile down to the EU logo he used to wear on his cufflinks, would, in the unlikely event of us ever getting to that promised referendum, ignore a vote that went the 'wrong' way. Instead he would follow the usual EU practice when the people are consulted and fail to give the 'correct' answer: their democratic decision would be rejected.
The inconvenient truth, as remaining Tory Eurosceptics must surely see, is that their present leader has no serious intention of even getting to that referendum, let alone of respecting its result.
Nigel Jones is a UKIP MEP candidate for South-East England
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