In his speech outlining his party’s new post Lisbon treaty policy on the EU, David Cameron pledged that no more powers would be transferred to the EU without a referendum:
Never again should it be possible for a British government to transfer power to the EU without the say of the British people.
If we win the next election, we will amend the European Communities Act 1972 to prohibit, by law, the transfer of power to the EU without a referendum.
And that will cover not just any future treaties like Lisbon, but any future attempt to take Britain into the euro.
He also pledged that any attempt to use the Lisbon Treaty’s “self amendment” clause would require approval by Parliament:
But people will rightly say that the Lisbon Treaty does not just transfer powers to Brussels today.
It allows further powers to be transferred in the future, because it contains a mechanism to abolish vetoes and transfer power without the need for a new Treaty.
We do not believe that any of these so-called ratchet clauses should be used to hand over more powers from Britain to the EU.
Furthermore, we would change the law so that any use of a ratchet clause by a future government would require full approval by Parliament.
Note that he is not pledging that power transfers arranged via the ratchet clause would require a referendum.