Looks like our British friends will get the chance to reject the EU constitution, fair and square:
Tony Blair is poised to announce plans for a referendum on a European Union constitution — a major change of heart for the prime minister that may heighten pressure on other nations for a similar vote.
Blair will make a statement on the EU constitution and lead a debate in parliament on Tuesday, his spokesman said.
“It will be a pleasure to debate the reality not the myth,” Blair told legislators on Monday, hinting at his decision.
Blair’s office would not explicitly confirm plans to offer Britons a vote on the charter, if agreed by EU leaders.
But his spokesman declined to deny plans for a referendum — which media and political circles now accept as a fait accompli — merely saying he would not pre-empt an announcement.
If Britons do get a referendum on the EU, then expect a nasty — really brutal and nasty — political fight. One which, if it fails to pass, could very well end Blair’s run as PM.
And if the referendum idea takes hold in other nations, then you can expect Poland, Spain, Italy, and others to demand some sweeping changes, perhaps before they even put the issue to the voters.
One of Britain’s weaknesses is that the country has no written constitution. One of its strengths is the tradition of liberty which underpins its government, even without written guarantees. Because their freedoms are protected by custom, rather than by law, surely the people there deserve a direct vote on turning over so much of their sovereignty to Brussels.
And surely that doesn’t bode well for the EU constitution, as currently written.
In other words, Eursoc has been all over this story. Check’em out.