Two quick thoughts
One, if other EU members states decide to bully us then I think we should remind them that the EU was founded on the principle of equality amongst member states and we should be prepared to veto stuff up and down the agenda if they want to play the heavies. And we should be prepared to reach out to other members states in the event that some seek to move ahead.
Two, regarding funding and air time for referenda, is it possible that the government is concerned about having the referendum on children's rights because they would have to give air time to people who hate children? I mean the rules aren't that stupid that if we had a referendum on the age of consent that we should have to give time and money to those who would argue for no age of consent at all? Are they?