Denying us a vote on the EU treaty is arrogant cowardice
Without the debate a referendum would bring, Britons will rebel against unsanctioned meddling, to the union's detriment
Wednesday January 23, 2008
The House of Commons is about to do a proper job. For the next month it is not discussing the new European constitution or "Lisbon treaty". That is sealed and delivered, and was so back in 2005. The Commons is discussing whether Britain should agree to it, and how. The debate is already angry and bad-tempered, an excellent sign.
On this subject there are just two facts that matter. The first is that everyone but a fool (or a minister) knows that the new treaty is the rejected 2005 constitution in all but name. Its architect, the former French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, says so. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who negotiated its passage, says so explicitly. Even the pro-government Commons foreign affairs committee said so, at least in part, last week. As the pro-EU Tory Kenneth Clarke remarked in the Commons on Monday, the foreign secretary, David Miliband, would look less miserable if he abandoned his absurd denial, admitted reality and got on with the debate.
(Ok OKAY! So I read the Guardian. Actually, I get headlines sent to me by Google News Alerts and they include the Guardian. Sheesh!)