Mark Mardell’s Euroblog over at the BBC carries an interesting report today.
Following on from the majority labour Parliamentary European Scrutiny Committee, Labour’s own EU Constitution author Gisela Stuart and EU Constitution mastermind Valéry Giscard d’Estaing another pro-treaty group admit the new ‘reform treaty’ is in substance the same as the abandoned EU constitution. Not only that they admit it is worded in a deliberately complicated way, in order to hide ‘the fact that the new treaty and the dull Constitution are like two peas in a pod’.
Now the Labour Party (and the Tories and Lib Dems) made a manifesto commitment to a referendum on the UK ratifying the constitution. However as the new treaty is ‘not’ the constitution, we are to be denied a referendum. Technically not breaking the promise I guess, but severely intelectually dishonest, unless the supposed deep thinker Gordon Brown has also been taken in by the ‘smokescreen’. However with more and more reports like this it’ll be harder to resist calls for a referendum, but it could be ratified before the next election and forgotten about. Some labour MPs might rebel, but it’ll probably take the Lib Dems to also stick to their promise to defeat the government on this, and that seems unlikely.
On the bright side, there is in the constitreaty, a mechanism for leaving the EU. Maybe this cloud will have a silver lining, if only we had the politicians with the guts to support this radical option. Still, as with the English Parliament, what it takes is for people to make some noise. Only then will the politicians listen.