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Tory promise on EU referendum for UK is `snake oil`
Date 25/01/2013 12:12  Author webmaster  Hits 2882  Language Global
David Cameron's EU speech yesterday was not a serious attempt to unlock Brussels grip on Britain and will ultimately lead to failur, write UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom on PSEurope

I listened with great interest to the British Prime Minister's speech on the subject of a European Union referendum. It was over half an hour long so I made notes. By the end, I expected him to say 'free ice cream for our children and our children's children'. It was a real motherhood and apple pie sort of speech that the comedian Peter Sellers used to parody so well in the late 1950s. Harold Macmillan was the butt of the jokes in those days.

Soon afterwards, the grinning and smirking visage of Tony Blair came on screen with advice on negotiation. He did. Really. Now the point is this, everyone knows the EU, if it were an individual not an institution, would have been led gently away to a leafy suburban home for bewildered gentry. It is barking mad as only a short visit there would persuade anyone but a professional politician.

I remember Blair telling me, my boss Nigel Farage and a few other UKIP stalwarts at the beginning of his presidency how he would re-negotiate the Common Agricultural Policy. We sniggered, which annoyed him, but the outcome was never in doubt. Blair gave away most of our rebate so hard won by the Margaret Thatcher administration, for no return at all. He got a promise to consider reform in 2016. When it comes to negotiation Tony, you are not the right chap. Just when you thought it could not get worse, we have another prime minister who plays poker with his hand face up flat on the table.

He was manifestly clear in his speech; the United Kingdom would only leave the EU over his dead body. Something his back benchers will shortly arrange, I fancy. How does he expect the European Commission or other EU member states to take him seriously in hardball, behind the scenes, talks? His ultimate position is now world knowledge. And EU membership is not available á la carte. Lord knows how many times he has been told that. Europhile evangelists from Jacques Delors to Lord Kinnock have said leave and just have the free trade option. This is now granted to 38 countries across the world, including Turkey.

The précis of his speech was basically 'vote Tory at the next election and I will give you an in/out referendum two years after that'. Yet in 2010, he made the same promise. Do you remember his 'cast iron' guarantee of a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon? Admittedly, the Liberal Democrats made the same pledge. What happened to parliamentary time to review the Hunting with Dogs Act? The Countryside Alliance delivered the leaflets. What happened to the commitment?

The long and short of it, nobody can trust that Cameron will deliver. If he was in earnest, he would have invoked Article 50 on the Functioning of the Treaty of European Union - give notice to leave and start negotiating from there. Incidentally, even under that article it would not be until 2016 that we could leave. The depressing thing is the sheer intellectual dishonesty of the whole jamboree. In a few weeks, the electorate will realise it is just another bucket of snake oil from the Conservative Party.

Godfrey Bloom is a UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire