I never wanted a referendum anyway. but at least now its over. The Government defeated a Tory amendment to put the EU Bill to referendum with a comfortable margin.
Interesting that both Gisela Stuart (whips love her, Birmingham Edgbaston) and Lynne Jones (whips hate her, Birmingham Selly Oak) both joined up on this one. Roger Godsiff in Birmingham Sparkbrook also voted for a referendum. Divisions run very deep, it seems.
It will come back to haunt me, I am sure, but I bet that the local elections in May will revolve heavily around a national vote on a European Treaty. Nothing like opportunistic opposition parties to make one simple vote about something completely unrelated. See above for details.
And in a final point, it looks like the Lib Dems have imploded/exploded. William Hague made an amazing point, captured by Simon Hoggart. Clegg said that Eurosceptics lacked the ‘cojones’ to take a referendum on EU membership to the electorate. Hague replied that, in light of the Lib Dem leaders inability to enforce a whip across less people than the average rugby club, he mocked that ‘these unfortunate objects are now to be found, impaled on a distant fence.’ I do like a bit of Hague, now and then.