The former Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, is calling for a referendum on plans being drawn up by Germany and France for a Eurozone ‘fiscal union’.
But while the work and pensions secretary is saying that a ‘major treaty change’ of the European Union should trigger a UK vote, Nick Clegg the LibDem leader and deputy prime minister said on the BBC Andrew Marr show yesterday that a referendum would only happen if a significant movement of sovereignty away from the UK would occur.
This difference will obviously give the prime minister, David Cameron, a bit of a headache.
As the Eurozone casts desperately about to find a credible way of saving the Euro project from disaster before the markets lose patience and trash it themselves, any solutions that are unearthed inevitable point towards ever closer fiscal union for the Eurozone states.
This on the face of it may look like it is ‘their business’ and nothing to do with Britain.
But when you consider that the treaties we signed up to were with separate countries and that fiscal union would at some stage mean that the Eurozone becomes a de facto stand alone huge single state then one can see what an impact that would have on the UK.
Effectively setting up this massive single state in the EU would mean a wholesale re-writing of the EU treaties and this definitely needs putting to the British people.
The prime minister it seems has put saving the Euro ahead of all other EU matters and has said that a referendum would only be held ‘if power moves from London to Brussels’, something he may well argue will not happen if the other states agree something between them without our involvement.
So why then why does he want to get involved at every step of the way?
The truth is that the UK needs a referendum now before it gets handcuffed to a vast superstate over which it can exercise little or no control.
And if we decide to remain in the EU we also need to limit the voting powers of the Eurozone states in Council of Minister meetings (preferably to one) as well cutting back the number of MEPs the Eurozone as a whole has under the concept of degressive proportionality so as to control the amount of power that the Eurozone could wield.