Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Reactions to Straw's "Shelving" of the Referendum

Jack Straw put yesterday on 'the shelves' the proposed bill paving the way to a referendum in Britain, this carefully craft speech at the House of Common managed to defuse fears by the other EU member states that the Treaty was effectively dead. As Robin Cook remarks: "Mr Straw had carefully avoided saying it was dead so as not to be blamed by the French and Germans for being "the obstacle that caused it to crash''. Indeed, the newly appointed French Foreign Minister, Phillipe Douste Blazy, said that it was "normal that to pursue the ratification process." Dermot Ahern, the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, also confirmed this morning on BBC Radio 4 that Ireland will have a referendum on the Treaty. However, UUP MEP Jim Nicholson reacted to Jack Straw's speech in saying that "The Prime Minister has a simple choice, he must either announce that the EU Constitution is dead or allow the British people the opportunity, through a referendum, to kill it once and for all. No part of the Constitution must be introduced by stealth through the back door."
***UPDATE***
SF MEP Mary Lou McDonald said, in reaction to Dermot Ahern decision to go ahead with a referendum in Ireland, that his "belief that the people of (France and the Netherlands) should re-think their decision on the EU Constitution shows a blatant disregard for the democratic will of the French and Dutch people. He wants the people of the Netherlands and France to think, re-think and think again until they vote the way the European elites want them to. "

1 Comments:

Blogger Thomas said...

Here is the full communique of Jim Nicholson: "Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson, speaking this afternoon as UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw announced that the Government was putting on ice plans for a UK referendum on the EU constitution cautioned the Government against implementing any part of the EU constitution by stealth.

Mr Nicholson said that if the Government intends to rescue any part of the failed EU constitution then “it must consult the British people. The Prime Minister must not be allowed to introduce any part of the failed constitution through the back door.”

In a statement Mr Nicholson said,

“Last week the people of France and Holland sent a resounding message to the political elite in Brussels that the proposed EU constitution is fundamentally flawed and should be consigned to the political dustbin.

“The Prime Minister has a simple choice, he must either announce that the EU Constitution is dead or allow the British people the opportunity, through a referendum, to kill it once and for all. No part of the Constitution must be introduced by stealth through the back door.

“The United Kingdom, on July 1st, takes over the rotating Presidency of the European Union. The UK have a unique opportunity to display real leadership by providing a new template for the future of the EU, which does less but does it better.

“The EU is far too disconnected, far too centralised and far too unaccountable. There is a real opportunity now to build a European Union, which is more in touch with the people of its Member States, reflecting their concerns and making accountable and transparent decisions on their behalf.” Ends

6/07/2005 12:02 p.m.  

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