The European Union may be about to change fundamentally but that doesn't mean the British people will get a referendum to approve or reject that change. The so-called 'referendum lock' passed by the Coalition is only triggered when powers pass from Britain to the EU. Ministers decide when and if those powers have passed and the suspicion is that a move towards fiscal union by the €urozone's seventeen will be interpreted as not affecting UK sovereignty. That was certainly Nick Clegg's position on this morning's Andrew Marr programme*:
NICK CLEGG: Well I don't think there needs to be a referendum for the simple reason that the change...
ANDREW MARR interrupts: The Prime Minister's promised one. If there is a treaty change, he's promised a referendum.
NICK CLEGG: No, the referendum will only take place if there is an additional surrender of sovereignty from us to the European Union, to Brussels.
ANDREW MARR: I thought any substantial treaty change will trigger a referendum. That's what David Cameron said.
NICK CLEGG: No, no, no. Let me be very clear. The test, which we've legislated on, is if we, the United Kingdom, give up more sovereignty in a big way to the European Union.
Compare and contrast with the following:
Come on Clegg, let's see you keep ONE promise.