Power to the people?
What do we want? Power to the people. When do we want it? Now but, er, not necessarily in the future... because that's a hypothetical question.
That, in summary, was David Cameron's answer to repeated questioning at his news conference this morning.
Eurosceptic Tories want him to promise that whenever he comes to office, and whether or not the Treaty has been agreed by Parliament or, indeed, all other EU countries, he will give the people their say. This would amount to a commitment to re-negotiate Britain's whole relationship with the EU which is precisely why the Tory leader wants to avoid it. On the other hand he does not want to say no and thus antagonise the sceptics and possibly trigger a battle about the next Tory manifesto.
So, he said that it was a hypothetical question based on the assumption that Gordon Brown cannot be persauded by Parliament or the people to change his mind.
He did, however, misspeak (I assume) in a way which may be seized on by the sceptics. He promised to have a referendum after the next election "if we can". I suspect he meant if the treaty has not become law but that is not what he actually said and sceptics will surely point out that Britain can give the people their say whenever she likes.