The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

UK referendum should go ahead whatever

Latest opinion polls in Holland and France on the forthcoming referendums on the EU Constitution show a clear majority planning to reject the proposal. And if they do, what happens to the UK referendum?

LibDem foreign spokesman Menzies Campbell has said that there would be no point continuing with the UK vote. This is mischievous or mistaken. We shall not have seen the last of the Constitution and when it reappears in front of French voters I assume that some attempt will have been made to address their apparent concerns about insufficient protectionism. Here in the UK we fear the Constitution for quite opposite reasons and we should take the opportunity of demonstrating this or else when we do get to vote we will have in front of us a document more objectionable than ever, and one ratified, by that time, by all other EU nations.

I'm sure the Liberal Democrats, the most Eurofriendly party in British politics, would find it embarrassing and unpopular to rally behind the forlorn "Yes" camp. They would much prefer to take their stand when the argument from inevitability is at its most powerful. They should not be allowed this luxury.

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