It is all very interesting what happens with the Lisbon Treaty vote. That is if you are a Tory supporter.
If they vote 'Yes' as is most likely, then the Tories are left carrying on much the same as they have for the past year, "not letting it rest there". However the Germans, have now ratified the Treaty. The Poles are unlikely to stick it out much longer - we are told it will happen before Christmas. Which leaves the Czechs. Even they, despite the indomitable Vaclav Klaus have made it pretty clear that they will have ratified "up to 6 months". The problem for the Tories with a 'Yes' vote is that the circumstances will have changed if the General Election is indeed on May 6th as is believed to be the case. For the Tories to offer us the referendum so promised would be that they would threaten to wreck their relationship with the EU, something Dave has sworn time and again not to do. Thus, he will say, with a heavy heart, that we have to honour our Treaty obligations. No referendum. Britain stuck in the EU.
But, "Don't worry", will say Dave, "Don't worry. We have made a manifesto commitment that any further Treaty that may erode our sovereignty will be put to a public vote. No further will be our message to Brussels". Sounds good doesn't it. Apart from the fact ios that it is meaningless twaddle. The 'ratchet clause' (Article 48(7)) in the Lisbon Treaty will see to that. You see, after the Lisbon Treaty has bee ratified the fact that it becomes self amending means that no new Treaties are needed, except for enlargement Treaties, and they are not constitutional.
So what happens if the Irish have the brass neck to vote 'No' again? Simples. Britain will not need a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty because it will become moribund. Remember what happened to our referendum on the Constitution. We didn't have it. Why? Because the French and the Dutch had voted 'No' so, as it was dead there was no need to revisit the corpse.
Dave would say, "Look Guys, referenda are very expensive things, we have to concentrate resources, there is no need to flog the dead horse of the Lisbon Treaty. Don't worry; we will keep an eye on Brussels. You can go back to sleep now".
But of course Brussels never sleeps. It will take a few more years but almost everything in the Treaty will come to pass, piecemeal. Spread over a number of years.
You want proof?
Look at the new EU diplomatic Corps. The External Action Service. It has no legal base, it is indeed illegal under the current Treaties, But trust me it exists. Go here for evidence.
Britain will not have a referendum on Europe. That is unless people vote for a party like UKIP that means what it says. If enough do then our political elite will have to act.