As expected and as previously revealed by both Prime Minister David Cameron and his Foreign Secretary William Hague
, the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic plans to make any future transfer of powers to the European Union subject to a full referendum of the British public was outlined by Her Majesty the Queen
this morning in her traditional Queen's Speech
to open the latest session of the British Parliament.
Big in name, big in potential political impact, the European Communities (Amendment) Referendum Lock Bill
will undoubtedly fuel huge tensions within the ranks of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, since the Liberals are pro-European and in Nick Clegg have a former MEP as its leader
The new bill will please eurosceptics with its plans to legislate to put in place a 'referendum lock
' whereby any future transfer of powers to the European Union requires a referendum vote.
The same 'referendum lock
' rules are set to be applied in the scenario if and when Britain decides it wants to join the Euro single currency, while primary legislation will be required for every passerelle
clause which modifies the European treaties.
The moves are supposed to provide "real protection for our democracy
" according to the Conservatives but many of the Liberal Democrat MPs who find themselves in coalition government will indeed find many of these measures difficult to accept.
The Conservatives are evidently very keen to drop anchor regarding the European Union’s progression, whereas the Liberal Democrats will be clinching to every single link in the chain.
There will be more to this potential scrap you can bet on that.