UK Daily Mail
Monday, Dec 08, 2008
Britain could be signed up to a controversial European Union Constitution within a year, it has emerged.
Ireland – which derailed the so-called Lisbon Treaty when voters rejected it in June – has been forced into holding a second referendum on the agreement.
One diplomat said: ‘There is still some tweaking to do, but there is an understanding.’
Critics say that the Treaty is almost identical to the EU Constitution, rejected by the French and Dutch in 2005.
The EU insists that the document is needed to help ease decision-making in Brussels, but opponents say it will hand over sovereign powers to bureaucrats.
All 27 member states must ratify the treaty before it comes into force.
Ireland, the Czech Republic and Poland are the only nations which have not yet agreed to do so. Labour had promised British voters a referendum on the constitution – but reneged on that when the document was re-fashioned as a treaty.
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This means that UK citizens will not have the opportunity to vote on whether to adopt the legislation.
Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen will this week confirm that a new referendum on the Treaty will be held next year.
He will not give a firm date, but experts say that October is the most likely time.
This article was posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 4:53 am