David Cameron has just ratted on his much trumpeted commitment to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The argument that the Treaty is now ratified, does not in fact preclude a referendum. It is perfectly possible to resile from an international treaty; a referendum on whether to resile would be perfectly feasible, but Cameron has not the stomach for that fight with the EU.
To cover his retreat he unleashed a cloud of rhetorical proposals which have no pactical effect. A “referendum lock” law covering future treaties could simply be undone by any future government, but more practically would be unlikely to be invoked as the Lisbon Treay is designed to allow for amendment, to obviate the need for ratification of further treaties or formal ratification of the amendments,
But more importantly, the “Sovereignty Law” is a non-starter. If it had any meaning, it would require us to resile from the Lisbon, Nice, Amsterdam and other treaties in which sovereignty was given up (or “pooled”, as pro-EU jargon has it,) We cannot simply declare that the UK courts are not subject to the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human Rights, or that the British govenment is not bound by the majority voting provisions of successive EU treaties, without resiling from the treaties that say otherwise. And if we are prepared to do that, the whole argument for not having a referendum on Lisbon fails.
The pretence that the German Constitutional Court sits above the European Court of Justice is a shameful lie. The German Constitutional Court has in fact never tried to strike down a ECJ ruling, a European Commission ruling, or an EU treaty provision. The Cameron ploy is not so much smoke and mirrors, as an effort to hide in a steaming heap of bullshit.
I do not for one second think he believes it himself.
It seems that Cameron is just a shifty snake oil salesman like Blair. Now there’s a shock.