Monday, June 06, 2005
The Government’s decision that Britain will not proceed with a referendum on the EU constitution. This is bad news. The Government is squirming away from the defeat that would inevitably result from it. There is no sign that they have seen the light that this is an EU project too far and one that is as good as dead already.
That means it isn’t quite dead yet. While some may scoff at the suggestion that it will be resurrected, that seems to be the direction we’re heading in. By cancelling the vote now, the Government is keeping open the prospect of running it at a later date. Undoubtedly a date at which they hope the rest of Europe, including France and the Netherlands, will have ratified it and thus be able to exert pressure on public opinion by the favoured argument of the spoil-sport and the fear of being branded unclubbable.
On the other hand, if Britain decides to go ahead with a referendum, other countries, such as Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic will decide to hold theirs too. By my current reckoning these will all vote no, with opinion riding on the impetus generated by the Non and the Nee. If these referenda are delayed however, the EUrocrats will have far too much time on their hands to find alternative ways of getting their agenda through.
The time to put a serious damper on the misguided form of European integration we are witnessing is now. A continuing string of lost referenda is the best way to destroy this faulty treaty. If we really want to see the backs of the leaders that are messing Europe up, the best way to proceed now is to hit them running.
And for that, there is no substitute for regular thumping by the people.
PS: To give you an oddity in line with real favour of the pan-European scepticism being revealed at the moment, when I spell-checked the above entry, my computer got confused and said it couldn’t spell-check Spanish, then Polish and finally Dutch. Many languages, one argument, I reckon. And isn’t that soooo European?!
Rather amusingly too, it suggested I replace `EUrocrat´ with `Euro rat´.