New poll: should the Lib Dems back an EU treaty referendum?

by Stephen Tall on August 29, 2007

There’s speculation in today’s Telegraph that the Lib Dems might back calls from the Tories, and from some 120 Labour rebels, for a referendum on the European Union reform treaty:

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem leader, refused yesterday to rule out backing a referendum before a Commons scrutiny of the treaty proposals. Even though he said his personal view was that it was not necessary this time, he added: “I don’t think you can make a final decision on that until we see what the final document looks like.”

A senior party source later disclosed that younger Lib Dem MPs have privately urged Sir Menzies to abandon the party’s traditionally pro-EU stance and stop “taking the flak” for defending Brussels. The move reflects mounting concern that the Conservative Party under David Cameron would combine Eurosceptic policies with a broader appeal to unseat southern-based Lib Dem MPs at the next election.

What do you think? Should the Lib Dems support the demands for a referendum – after all, we were the only mainstream party to call for one to validate the Maastricht Treaty – or would this simply be pandering to a Eurosceptic media, exploiting issues too technical to be decided by a simple Yes/No vote?

A new poll is open – see the right-hand column – which poses just such a question… your chance to vote on whether we should have a vote.