Fressh from the success of driving through the Constitution, ooops sorry Lisbon Treaty, they now want a new Treaty in order to do away with the Maastricht rules about bailing out incontinent economies.
But she added that a full-scale negotiation of the EU's 27 member states would be needed to set up a European Monetary Fund, which would be able to bail out eurozone members subject to strict budgetary conditions. "Without treaty change we cannot found such a fund," Ms Merkel told foreign correspondents in Berlin yesterday.
The Tories will no doubt say that they have already made a commitment not to allow another Treaty to pass without a referendum, so if what she was proposing was a new Treaty then this would smash against the rocks of British intrancigence.
Nobody really beleives if there was a new Treaty, and it was put to the people they would vote on the case in hand. Not this time. They would be votiong for the whole caboodle, and I have no doubt that the UK would reject such a thing. So this cannot be what she is suggesting.
And sure enough it isn't. What she is suggesting is merely an amendment. And here we have in the simplified revision procedure of the Lisbon Treaty how be done.
Simplified revision procedures, Article 48.
6. The Government of any Member State, the European Parliament or the Commission may submit to the European Council proposals for revising all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union relating to the internal policies and action of the Union.
The European Council may adopt a decision amending all or part of the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The European Council shall act by unanimity after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, and the European Central Bank in the case of institutional changes in the monetary area. That decision shall not enter into force until it is approved by the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.
The decision referred to in the second subparagraph shall not increase the competences conferred on the Union in the Treaties.
7. Where the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or Title V of this Treaty provides for the Council to act by unanimity in a given area or case, the European Council may adopt a decision authorising the Council to act by a qualified majority in that area or in that case. This subparagraph shall not apply to decisions with military implications or those in the area of defence.
The key is point 7.
A change would need unanimity, but they could agree in secret at the Council to pass it on to QMV, and thius get it passed without a Treaty change, merely an amendment. Westminster would not have to be infornmed, and as the meetings of the Council are in secret we would never know. And the creation of an EMF and the greater control of European economic policy would not have specific defence implications.