Cameron hints at Lisbon treaty U-turn

By staff

David Cameron has given the first indications he may not force a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if the Conservatives win power.

Tory policy on the Lisbon treaty has always been that they would put the question of Britain’s ratification to the people. The party opposes the treaty, claiming it closely resembles the abandoned European constitution.

Speaking on LBC Radio, Mr Cameron suggested for the first time a Conservative government would not press the issue after all.

“If this treaty is still alive, if it is still being discussed and debated anywhere in Europe, then we will give you that referendum, we will name the date during the election campaign, we’ll hold that referendum straight away and I will lead the campaign for a no,” he said.

“If those circumstances change, if the Germans ratify, if the Poles ratify, if the Czechs ratify, if the Irish vote yes to the treaty, then a new set of circumstances [apply], and I will address those at the time.”

The Lisbon treaty was initially rejected by Irish voters in a referendum. A second attempt to win over voters there takes place on Friday.