This House calls upon the government to publish a White Paper during the next session of Parliament setting out the powers and competences that the government would seek to repatriate from the EU, to commence the renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU, and to put the outcome of those negotiations to a national referendum.In some ways this makes sense. After all, the legislation for a referendum, as proposed in the Motion, will provide for that impossible third option
to re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.And if you are going to do that, you may as well explain what you are going to renegotiate and then ask the people if they want you to do so. Except that you do not need a referendum for that. The government can produce a White Paper and start renegotiating anyway.
Still, it is interesting to see that the Spectator, supposedly the most eurosceptic of all publications (as long as it does not involve opposing the Tories) and a magazine with a proud history in that respect, seems unable to grasp some obvious facts.
James Forsyth opines (I don't like that word but blathers seems rude):
What’s needed now is some reassurance that the leadership is serious about using any treaty change – and one is likely in the not too future given that Germany wants to give the ‘Stability and Growth Pact’ legal force – to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union.Now James, repeat after me: we do not have a relationship with the European Union, we are part of it; and we can change terms of our membership only by a major treaty change, which has to be agreed unanimously. What is going to be offered to the other countries in return?