The Coalition Agreement is what they have to fall back upon.
We agree that we will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that Treaty - a 'referendum lock'. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that the use of any passerelle would require primary legislation.
Now of course I don't believe that the 'referendum lock' is any such thing. As has been said, it is a lock so feeble that it could be picked by a toddler. But to the party loyalists, it is a shibboleth they can cling to. They can whisper the mantra to themselves,
"Dave is a sceptic, Dave is a sceptic" as meaningless as a cargo cult and about as effective, but it makes them feel better.
Any direct attack on the Coalition Agreement is indeed a direct attack on the Coalition itself. So a direct attack on this by a senior Lib Dem, should be seen as a declaration of war against the Government, by one who is supposed to be inside the tent.
Andrew Duff a senior Lib Dem MEP has called for an amendment of the Treaty specifically to kybosh the Referendum Lock. Worse still is that Clegg seems to be well aware of what he is up to.
"Nick Clegg understands my thinking of the matter very well."As Euractive reports,
his intention was to solve "the British problem," as he called it, and to counter the "referendum lock" that Britain put on any future EU treaty changes involving transfers of power to BrusselsIt also has a copy of the letter,
|Duff's proposed Treaty Amendment|
They just hope if they stay silent then nobody will notice.