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Tories to unveil post-Lisbon Euro policy.

Summary: The Conservatives will unveil their new policy on Europe after admitting a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is no longer an option.

The Conservatives will unveil their new policy on Europe after admitting a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is no longer an option.

Tory leader David Cameron is coming under intense pressure from eurosceptic MPs and activists to offer a vote of some sort on Britain's relations with Europe.

But it is thought more likely that he will use a speech in London later to announce a commitment to bringing power over social and employment policies back from Brussels to Westminster.

This would require the agreement of all 27 EU states, and it is thought possible that Mr Cameron will use the threat of a referendum on future treaties - such as those implementing the accession of new members such as Croatia - in order to get it.

When the Lisbon Treaty was being negotiated in 2007, Mr Cameron gave a "cast-iron guarantee" of a referendum on any document emerging from the process and mocked Gordon Brown for backing away from his promise of a public vote on the European Constitution.

But after Czech President Vaclav Klaus finally completed the ratification of the Treaty on Tuesday, shadow foreign secretary William Hague acknowledged that plans for a referendum on Lisbon were being dumped.

The move threatens to throw the Tories into a renewed round of turmoil over Europe after years of relative peace.

Eurosceptics including former shadow home secretary David Davis intensified pressure for the public to have a say on Europe, arguing it would provide a Tory government with a "mandate" to take back powers.

And Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that Mr Cameron would not be being honest with voters if he suggested Britain could simply withdraw from Treaty obligations without the agreement of fellow EU states.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 4, 2009
Words:332
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