Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trust us, we've got it all taken care of

no need for a referendum...put down your pitchforks and torches and return calmly to your homes.

The Government has been accused of misleading voters over the new version of the EU constitution.

Labour ministers say Britain has secured control over tax and benefits, foreign policy and social rights and that opt-outs mean there is no need for a referendum.

But a new guide to the treaty rejects these claims and highlights policy areas where "safeguards" that the government secured will not prevent Britain from being affected.

The guide, published by Open Europe, the think tank, attempts to disprove the arguments for not holding a referendum put forward by Gordon Brown's government.

Ministers claim the treaty is different from the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005 because the government has insisted on a series of "red lines".

Open Europe says ministers have stopped denying that it is the same document because of the unexpectedly large number of European leaders prepared to publicly state that the new treaty is essentially the same as the old.

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