David Cameron signals no referendum on Lisbon Treaty - TriWooOx - 11-02-2009 02:04 PM
Quote:The Conservative leader said that once the document is endorsed by all 27 EU members, it will “not be a treaty” and will instead be part of European law.
Mr Cameron in 2007 gave voters an “ironclad” promise that a Conservative government would hold a popular vote on the treaty.
Only the Czech Republic is still to ratify the treaty, which will create a new European president and end British vetoes in more than 50 areas of EU policy.
However, the Czechs are likely to sign later this month, meaning the treaty would be incorporated into EU law by the end of the year.
Speaking at a press conference in London today, Mr Cameron said that the likely ratification of the treaty would change his policy.
Declining to repeat his previous promise of a vote on Lisbon, Mr Cameron accepted that its ratification will mean a UK vote is no longer possible.
He said: "We want to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but clearly it seems we are getting closer to the point where the treaty is not going to be a treaty but becomes part of European law."
He added: "It looks as if times are changing.”
Abandoning the referendum pledge could antagonise some Eurosceptic Tory MPs and members.
Senior Tories say that instead of a referendum on Lisbon, the Tories will seek to renegotiate several of the changes it implements.
A Tory source said: “We will look at the parts of the treaty that are not acceptable and seek to renegotiate them."