The Conservative Party has been getting very excited about an EU referendum, perhaps in the term of the current parliament, following Lord Lawson’s piece in the Times calling for UK withdrawal and reinforced today by news of a Commons vote next week. David Cameron, of course, has promised a ‘proper choice‘ at such a poll , but that would appear to be for the next Conservative manifesto. Such a vote would need more than Conservative support to get it through Westminster – another 19 votes, at least. The Lib Dems are unlikely to vote in favour, but there have been suggestions that Labour might support one after the next election – and it might enjoy putting the Conservatives in a difficult position for tactical reasons. So, while it’s unlikely, there is an outside chance of a UK-wide referendum on the EU, before that on Scottish independence.
I’ve addressed some of the implications of that, and the interaction between the two referendums, in a post for the Spectator‘s ‘Coffee House’ blog. That can be found HERE.