Preceding the meeting today between Merkel and Sarkozy - aka Merkozy - it would appear a disagreement has arisen between Iain Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg over the minutiae of the 'Referendum Act' and whether any treaty change would necessitate a referendum, with Cameron stepping in to state that there would only be a referendum "if a new treaty passes powers from UK to Brussels" adding that "as Prime Minister, I do not think the issue will arise".
Much is made of the subject of 'sovereignty' by politicians viz-a-viz our membership of the European Union; and it is therefore worthwhile considering exactly what sovereignty means. Hopefully, we can all agree that sovereignty means the ability of a nation to have supreme, independent authority within it's own territory, thus allowing it the power to make law affecting those within it's territory. Whether it concerns areas of foreign policy, immigration, or even how 'internal' matters are conducted; the minute a nation loses the right to decide any matter for itself it has suffered a loss of power - and if that loss is the result of those matters being decided by an alien 'organisation', then it has suffered a transfer of power. Since this nation has been a member of the European Union it has been subject to over thousands of rulings from that alien 'organisation' which has resulted in a transfer of power.
David Cameron has for some time been pushing the idea that in order to solve the 'euro crisis', the 17 eurozone nations should integrate and thereby accept central control of their fiscal policies. This well-thought-out policy (not) has the inherent danger that in a group of 27 members, 17 constitutes a majority and that such a majority could well impose a 'decision', one not wanted by the remaining 10. Any such 'decision' would then be binding on all 27 members and would, by nature of the concept of 'ever closer union' and 'harmonization', result in a transfer of power.
A transfer of power, under the designation of sovereignty above, is a transfer of power - there can be no degrees of transfers of power, which rather makes a mockery of the Referendum Act and the extremely careful wording with which that Act is written - but hey, we all know the reasons for that! The MSM - aka 'pretend' journalists - would have us believe that Cameron is therefore twixt the proverbial rock and a hard place, in that he either upsets the EU by granting a referendum on EU membership or he alienates his own backbenchers who, we are assured by said MSM, are largely 'eurosceptic'. Cameron is well aware that the supposed 'eurosceptics' are 'career politicians' and that they would follow their Party Whip in supporting whatever decision he makes in order to preserve their own 'careers', rather negates any worries from the rock/hard place. Of course, were he to grant a referendum it would shatter the Coalition 'accord' - which doesn't really exist, but I digress - and would result in his 'power-grab' in May 2010 having been for nought (and yes,make no mistake, Cameron is a 'career politician' too!).
Needless to say it won't be until the forthcoming 'Heads of States' meeting at the end of this week is concluded that we will know exactly 'how much further down the river we have been sold'. The fact that it should be the people who decide whether any new treaty/arrangement is acceptable, rather than a political elite, matters not.
Of course, were to to have a system of democracy that combined 'Referism' and 'Direct Democracy' - but yet again I digress....................