Monday, 14 May 2007

Gordon Brown Must Call on Blair to not commit to Constitutional Treaty which would prejudice the UK position

Following Tony Blair’s announcement to leave office by 27 June 2007, but noting his promised attendance at a major European Council Summit on 21-22 June, The European Foundation demands that Gordon Brown must pressure Blair not to commit to the Constitutional Treaty before his departure or leave the UK position open to further EU obligations.

In wake of the French and Dutch referendums of 2005, when their respective electorates voted against a European constitution, and a recent poll (commissioned by Global Vision) in the UK showing that 65% per cent of the Europeans want Britain to have a referendum demanding a looser relationship with the EU, it is clear that now is the time for Gordon Brown to take stock of the UK political climate and hold a public referendum on a Constitutional Treaty and all existing treaties.

Following the European Parliament’s discussion on a draft report entitled The roadmap for the Union's Constitutional Process, the European Foundation openly condemns the ambitions of the UK to agree on such a roadmap for the Constitutional process, in ignorance of the French and Dutch referendums of 2005 and against the wishes of the British electorate. Within the UK, it is essential for Brown to take the reigns and hold a nationwide public referendum – thereby renegotiating the UK’s position on the new Constitutional Treaty and all existing treaties.

Roger Helmer MEP, adviser to The European Journal, called for five major amendments to the current roadmap text, which currently presents a roadmap for the EU’s Constitutional Process. Roger Helmer’s tabled amendments which have been submitted to the European Parliament include ‘Amendment 46’, asking that the draft “Recognises that the Constitutional Treaty has been firmly rejected by two of the Union's founding member-states; understands that the electors of France and Holland were not seeking slight changes or cosmetic alterations to the Constitutional text, nor were they rejecting one particular draft in favour of some other constitutional approach, but they were rejecting the concept of "More Europe" in its entirety.”

Blair’s meeting with French President Sarkozy must not create any further agreement on a Constitutional Treaty. It is simply not the place of the exiting Prime Minister to decide on the future commitments of the UK to the European Union – that is a job for the national electorate by referendum.

It is clear from Gordon Brown’s position after 27 June that in order to make the European Union an institution which is beneficial to Britain and the other Member States, and thereby achieve greater democracy among European nations, it is essential for the UK to hold a public referendum and thereby renegotiate its position not only on the new Constitutional Treaty but on all other existing treaties.

Bill Cash MP, Chairman of the European Foundation, said:
“The situation is a travesty. Firstly, there should not even be a Constitutional Treaty. Secondly, if either Blair or Brown does think it is necessary, it should not be signed behind the backs of the British people. It should be held to referendum. Thirdly, it is now time for Gordon Brown to take the reigns and pledge a referendum on the Constitutional Treaty and all other treaties.”

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