Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 18 April 2004

Should the UK have a referendum on the EU constitution?

In a word 'YES'.

I happen to be in favour of greater integration within the EU, but the only way to clarify where the British people want to go is by holding a referendum - trying to link it to overall policy at a general election would be deeply dishonest. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has said that the changes which the likely constitution will bring do not merit a referendum as they merely consolidate into one treaty what is already there in separate treaties. Even if one accepts this argument, which I do not, it seems clear that public perception is that people want their views to count on this important matter - it seems the political realities are beginning to dawn on him.

Both sides of the argument need to agree to accept the verdict of a referendum, though.

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