Voters demand EU referendum if David Cameron becomes PM
The Tories have come under fierce pressure on Europe as a poll shows that 70 per cent of voters want a Conservative government to offer a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, even if it is already law when they come to power.
By Patrick Hennessy and Melissa Kite
An ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph also found that 40 per cent want Britain to leave the European Union altogether, a higher percentage than in other recent polls.
Asked which of the four leading member states did best out of EU membership, 43 per cent said France while 25 per cent chose Germany.
Britain was selected by 10 per cent, followed by Italy on eight per cent.
Even among voters who identify more with Labour than with any other party, 64 per cent want the Conservatives, if elected, to offer a referendum on the treaty, which will establish an EU president and further entrench the decision-making powers of Brussels.
So far, the Tories have made only vague promises not to “stand idly by” if the treaty has already become law across the EU when they win power. However, David Cameron’s efforts to play down the issue take a further blow today as Edward McMillan-Scott, the senior Conservative MEP expelled from the party last week, accuses the Opposition leader in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph of trying to “smear” his name.
Meanwhile, Labour divisions were also highlighted with Gisela Stuart, a former minister who helped to draw up the treaty’s original blueprint, warning that ratifying Lisbon across the EU would create a “democratic deficit”