Monday 19 May 2003

But what happens when they say no?

Writing in the Edinburgh Evening News, Iain Duncan Smith demands a referendum on the forthcoming EU constitution. I agree.

This editorial in Scotland on Sunday, a sister paper of the News thinks otherwise:

That said, current calls for a referendum on Giscard’s proposals are seriously misplaced. Parliament has always approved treaties in the past - including the Single European Treaty and the Maastricht Treaty, both of which had far reaching effects. Additionally, everything that is in the current draft proposals is subject to detailed inter-governmental consultation.
The editorial writer goes on to proclaim that:
The UK cannot thrive outside the EU, yet it is hard to see currently how greater integration would add to our prosperity. Reform of key institutions is desperately needed, but at best Giscard d’Estaing’s work is a mere restatement of existing EU treaties, while at worst he may well be surreptitiously trying to extend its scope over national sovereignty.
Why can't the UK thrive outside the EU? All we need are sensible economic policies including sound money and unilateral free trade. The EU is moving in the opposite direction. The new constitution would also destroy most of our civil liberties. What does Mr Duncan Smith propose doing when the rest of the EU insists on our joining the Euro and signing up to the new constitution? Is he willing to say now that we would need to get out in such circumstances?