9th Apr 2020

No UK referendum on Constitution

The UK government is not prepared to give the British people a say in a referendum on the new EU constitution being currently drawn up by the European Convention in Brussels.

"In effect, the existing treaties are already an EU constitution. However, they are overly complex and unclear. For this reason, the Government supports redrafting and restructuring the treaties", the UK Foreign Office said in a letter to the all-party Eurosceptic Democracy Movement. The Movement requested to know whether there would be a referendum on the Constitution currently being drafted in the Convention chaired by former French president, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

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"Such a redrafted text, more clearly labelled an EU constitution, will not fundamentally change the relationship between the EU and its citizens, nor alter the position of nation states as the fundamental basis of the European Union," the ministry said.

"A new restructured treaty, or amendments to the existing treaties would need to be ratified according to the individual constitutional arrangements in each of the Member States. In the UK, the Government is committed to the existing system of parliamentary democracy, rather than public referenda. As with the Nice Treaty, and all other previous treaties amending the original treaty structure, any new amendments would have to stand up to rigorous scrutiny by Parliament before the UK could ratify", Mr Neill Sharp replied on behalf of the British Foreign Office.

Marc Glendening, DM campaign director commented: "It is clear that Tony Blair wants to ratify the EU constitution, which will make Brussels the principal decision making body for all European citizens, without the voters being able to give or withhold their consent. New Labour has no mandate to ratify the next EU treaty in 2004 since at no time during the last election campaign did it reveal that it intended to sign the British people up to an EU constitution."


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