The Minister seemed to get his ratchets in a bit of a twist in his written ministerial statement yesterday. First he said that all ratchet clauses would be subject to primary legislation, then that major ratchet clauses would be subject to a referendum, and then, towards the end of his written ministerial statement, he confessed that there is no agreed definition of what a ratchet clause is at all, so his legislation is a pile of nonsense really. Does he not accept that the real danger here is that, effectively, what he is doing is asking the courts to decide when there will be a referendum or when there has to be primary legislation, because they will be deciding what is a ratchet clause?I guess that's what happens when you're promising to give a referendum which in reality you don't actually want to do. I can't wait for the first; 'when is a ratchet not a ratchet' court case. Now that would be embarrassing for Cameron.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
So says Labour MP Chris Bryant on the European Union Bill which is proposing the 'referendum lock':