Well, that didn’t take long…
Amid surprise that Paris and Berlin appear determined to press ahead with the ratification process after a 55% no vote, Mr Chirac will be asked in private whether France will be consulted again in a second poll – the only way of reviving the constitution.
… A negative response from the French president will pave the way for Britain, the Czech Republic and Poland – which are all facing tough referendums – to cancel their polls on the grounds that the constitution is dead.
…A double no from two founding members of the EU in the space of three days would deal such a blow to the constitution that all sides may agree it is dead. This would clear the way for Jack Straw to announce the cancellation of the British referendum when he addresses MPs on Monday.
Mr Blair broke a holiday in Tuscany to make it clear that he now intended to use the forthcoming British presidency to lead a bruising battle between “old Europe” and “new Europe” over the reform of the EU economies. The French vote has placed the EU at the crossroads of a historic dispute over the future direction of the European Union.
And thus Blair’s plans for his third term become clear. There’s been speculation for ages that he had his heart set on becoming the first proper President of the European Union, but it seems to be more than that – it looks rather like he wants to reshape the EU in his own image.
Brilliant. A time of manufactured crisis, and who steps into the breach but one of the most mediocre minds in European politics… If Blair gets his way, be prepared for an EU that is even more style over substance than the current model.
Alternatively, Chirac could simply ignore the views of his electorate and ratify the treaty, making the EU look even less interested in democracy than it already appears.
Note to our political overlords – this constitution really isn’t great enough to risk wrecking the whole bloody thing over. The easiest way out is not to have Blair spouting off, or for more referendums ratifying something which, without France, cannot be ratified.
The easiest way out is to throw up your arms and admit defeat, and try to come up with something more acceptable instead. And to come up with something more acceptable you want Blair as far away from any decision-making process as you possibly can…