Friday, June 03, 2005

Britain To Nix EU Referendum

This coming Monday, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will tell MP's in the House of Commons that the European Union Bill (to set up a referendum on the draft EU constitution) will be withdrawn - so that no referendum will happen in the UK, the Daily Telegraph reports.

This exposes divisions amongst pro-constitution politicians. Some of them are still sticking to the line that the "ratification process" should proceed - even though the constitutional document can only be ratified if all countries approve it. The "ratification process" is thus reduced to a series of plebiscites and parliamentary affirmations which have no actual legislative point - they're more like a research tool to gauge national positions.

It is now clear that there was indeed no "plan B" in the event of a "No" vote, so blindly confident was the European political mainstream of securing approval for its wretched document.

Commissioner Wallström, the beleaguered and bewildered Swede in charge of institutional relations and communications, is now talking about a "Plan D" - D as in "Democracy" and shorthand for bringing the tattered European project closer to the people. That approach has been long overdue. Commissioner Wallström may not want to hear what the people tell her, though. Au fond, they want less of Europe, not more.

In the meantime, the draft constitutional document is effectively a "D" as in "dead letter", but it is being left dangling in the wind a bit longer, for form's sake, probably until the European Council meeting on June 16th.

The link is to the Daily Telegraph:Telegraph News Britain shelves vote on Euro treaty

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