In recent days on Conservative Home I have been writing in the comments, drawing attention to the various signals being sent out by members of the Conservative Shadow Cabinet, notably Hague and Francois, and eurosceptic MEPs Hannan and Helmer. These are all indicating a changing position on the Lisbon Treaty.
The other commenters are mostly sceptical of any change and cannot see a definitive statement from any one source. That’s because the picture has to be built by drawing a little piece from each source.
Denis Cooper, for example, a regular commenter who I have met at John Strafford’s Conservative Democracy a few years ago, said he could see little change from the earlier stated formula on Lisbon, which was that if the Irish vote YES and Lisbon were to be ratified across Europe, the Conservatives would not let matters rest there.
No details were given as to what this might mean, and so eurosceptic Conservatives were worried that a sell-out was going to be inevitable. In fact most are still worried there is going to be a sell-out, and see no change overall in the Party’s position.
I disagree. I know some of the characters involved that are speaking a little bit, and feel greatly encouraged by what they are saying. I wrote in reply to Denis Cooper as follows –
Denis, let’s not look backwards.
Francois said that there is going to be a manifesto item on the Lisbon Treaty. NEW #1.
Helmer said that it will be decisive action to ensure Britain does not live under the Lisbon Treaty structures. NEW#2.
Hannan said that Britain is going to have a referendum on The Lisbon Treaty. NEW#3.
Hague in his July speech declared unconditional opposition to the Lisbon Treaty. NEW#4.
July 2008, (when the policy was only given as ‘we will not let matters rest there’) was still in the brand de-toxing period.
This is now the pre-election position being signalled. This is the real deal.
The troops should get ready to fight. You will like what’s on offer. Now stop your moaning !
I should have added that this is purely about Britain. No need to worry about events in Ireland, Germany, Poland or the Czech Republic.
I think you will agree that ‘not let matters rest there’ is now ancient history.
The message is that the Conservatives are preparing to fight the Lisbon Treaty.
Let battle commence…..oh yes, Party Conference is only a few days away. Just wait a week or two first.