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Thursday, 6 March 2008

A shaming day for democracy: MPs vote to deny British people a say on the EU treaty

The British people were finally denied a say on the EU constitution last night after a momentous day in the Commons. (Daily Mail Thursday 6th March 2008)

MPs voted against holding a referendum on the biggest shift of power to Brussels for at least a decade. This was despite pledges from both Labour and the Liberal Democrats that voters would have the chance to decide the issue.

The furious parliamentary debate on Europe plunged Nick Clegg's LibDem leadership into crisis as 13 rebels - a fifth of his entire tally of MPs - joined the Tories in calling for a national vote. Mr Clegg, who had ordered his MPs to abstain from voting, helped rescue Gordon Brown from defeat in two crucial votes on the Lisbon Treaty.

A Tory amendment calling for a referendum was defeated by 311 votes to 248, a Government majority of 63.

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