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May 13, 2013


john parkes

I heard Farage on the radio this morning, trawling over the `cast iron guarantee` once more. He said that Cameron had promised before the 2010 election that "...if I become Prime Minister there will be a Referendum on our EU membership...."
It is my memory that what he said was "...and if there is a Conservative government...."
I expect someone can remind us what was actually said and I`d be grateful to know, please.

Frank Furter

The exact words were: 'Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations. No treaty should be ratified without consulting the British people in a referendum.' The pledge was specifically about the Lisbon treaty, not about a in/out referendum on our membership. What would have happened had Lisbon been rejected in such a referendum is not clear - especially as the Treaty had already been signed into effect before Cameron took office.

Elaine Turner

Will Ukip do a deal with some Labour MPs, now that Kieth Vaz is setting up a grouping within the Labour Party for euroscepting Labour MPs?

Edward Huxley

There was another statement, from Hague I think, "We will not leave it there".

Farage points out what Cameron never mentions, governments cannot bind their successors so a promise of a referendum in 2017 is meaningless. Re his cast iron promise, I think most of us were misled asnd the weasel words came after he was rumbled..


Really good news but only if Cameron is deposed John Baron would be an excellent choice of leader to perhaps negotiate with Nigel he is a conviction Politician that does not waver from his beliefs he has had a proper job and seems more Conservative than many so called front runners and if he made a promise he would honour the same.
Now that Boris has shot himself in both legs and shown his true colours we need somebody that could win the party round and the country as at present there is no hope for us in the next election with the present incumbents.

Denis Cooper

Elaine, I found it hard to believe that Vaz is setting up a grouping within the Labour Party for eurosceptic Labour MPs; rather it's a group calling for the Labour party to officially support having an EU referendum, and while some of its members are indeed eurosceptic - for example Kelvin Hopkins has consistently opposed EU membership - the idea uppermost in Vaz's mind is that we will have a referendum and his side, the enemy side, will win it, sealing our fate within a pan-European federation.



There are a few Labour MPs who favour leaving the EU - Kate Hoey comes to mind and I believe Frank Field is also a BOO.

IF - and it is only an IF - UKIP were to consider standing joint candidates with BOO Conservatives, why shouldn't we also consider joint candidates with BOO Labour ones?

The aim is to get a Parliament that will vote to leave the EU. In my opinion, it doesn't matter that much how it is made up.


The key points in the comments of Nigel on Daily Politics were

1. NO chance of any deal in any seat whilst Cameron in charge.

2. Probably only 20 Conservative MP's and 1 Labour MP are considered eurosceptic with regard to discussing joint candidature.

3. Discussions are/have already taken place, and any decision will be made by UKIP constituency associations not the centre.

Denis Cooper

I agree with boudicca.

The aim must be to get a majority of MPs who will vote to leave the EU, and who will if necessary be prepared to use the Parliament Acts to crush the EU pensioners and fellow travellers and other pro-EU legislators-for-life who have been installed in the Lords, and in the context of that national constitutional enterprise the party affiliations of that majority of MPs is such a petty consideration that basically it is irrelevant.

Anybody who is so unpatriotic that he or she opposes the historic movement to restore and improve our national democracy deserves no place in our national Parliament and should be removed, and it matters not a whit whether he or she got there with official endorsement from the Tory party, the Labour party, or any other political party.

john parkes

In reply to frankfurter and Edward Huxley above, I wanted to be sure of Cameron`s words. They are interesting. "If I become Prime Minister, a Conservative Government will hold a referendum...." Irrespective of whether the Lisbon Treaty had been signed and the outcome a fait accompli, we didn`t come out of the election with a Conservative Government. I`m not praying in aid any weasel words but there was no Conservative Government and to form a government with the Liberal Democrats, Cameron was not able to include a referendum on Lisbon in the coalition agreement.
Similarly, Edward, Cameron is once again promising a referendum if a Conservative Government is elected in 2015. If there isn`t he cannot offer that referendum. And similarly again, knowing he cannot introduce legislation now that tries to bind a non-Conservative post-election successor to hold such a referendum, he has tried to resist drawing such legislation that tries to promise one. John Baron doesn`t seem to understand that either!
I wanted to clarify what Cameron had promised because Farage is more and more seeming to try to manipulate the truth. He said that Cameron had promised a referendum "if he became Prime Minister" after the (2010) election, conveniently omitting the qualifying words "of a Conservative government." This amounts to the sort of falsehood of which UKIP and Farage try to accuse Cameron and it just won`t do.

Edward Huxley

To John Parkes, yes but the fact is the words were read by most as a definite promise.

And now Cameron seems to be taking us all for idiots. He knows very well governments cannot bind their successors so his promise on this is worthless. We should have that referendum in the life of the present parliament.

He is the best recruiting sergeant for UKIP>


To John Parkes,

Cameron made it very clear the the promise on the referendum was valid up until the point that the treaty was ratified.

this was very clear. Cameron chooses his words precisely and he keeps his promises.


Parliament obviously can bind successor governments, what it can’t do is prevent a future parliament cancelling the referendum by act of parliament. But this would require both the commons and the lords to support it and the lords could hold it up for a period of time, and whichever party canceled that referendum would lose a tonne of political capital.

In reality once parliament legislates to give us a referendum then the referendum will happen.

john parkes

For Edward Huxley,
You have become so blind in your prejudice against Cameron and the Conservative Party that you refuse to see reality. Do you want to win an In/Out referendum? There is so little chance that your interest will win in this Parliament that I`m surprised that not even you can see the dangers of a vote now. Labour are just waiting for a confidence motion to spark an election which would almost certainly end up with another coalition. What do you think would happen to the chance of a referendum then? If Cameron is taking people for idiots, in some cases he`s probably right to do so.

Denis Cooper

John Parkes -

Your argument would make sense if Cameron had waited until May 7th 2010 to abandon his call for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, once he knew that the general election hadn't resulted in an overall Tory majority.

But he didn't, he'd already dropped it six months before, on November 4th 2009.

Doing that cost the Tory party some support, and although it wasn't the biggest factor it was one reason why he didn't get that majority.

Denis Cooper

G + P -

On the contrary Cameron's "cast-iron guarantee" given to Sun readers on September 26th 2007 was unqualified.

Here's a transcript of Andrew Neill interviewing David Lidington and tearing him to shreds over that:


After a week or two that original unqualified referendum pledge was diluted to the vague threat that "we would not let matters rest there", but that was also dropped on November 4th 2009.

Denis Cooper

G + P -

I've no idea why you have such faith in the Lords delaying a repeal of an Act ordering an EU referendum, given that it is packed with supporters of the EU and has no record of supporting referendums on the EU; my expectation would be that if a Bill to repeal an EU referendum Act came up from the Commons then the Lords would have no hesitation at all in passing that Bill and blocking the referendum.

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