Thursday, June 28, 2007

As The Truth Emerges

Get out and sharpen the pitchforks.
You're stuck with Blair's EU deal, says Portugal

Gordon Brown will find his hands tied as it becomes clearer and clearer that Tony Blair's European Union treaty deal resurrects the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters two years ago.

The incoming Portuguese EU presidency, which takes over the six-month rotating job from Germany this weekend, has made it clear that the new British Prime Minister is bound by the mandate agreed by Mr Blair last week.

Portugal wants a quick treaty finish and will hold Mr Brown to the 15-page text, backed up by as yet unpublished legal documents signed by Mr Blair and regarded as binding for his successor.

"We do have a clear, precise and detailed mandate handed down to us. We believe that the conditions and guidelines are set out to us in that mandate," said Portugal's Europe Minister, Manuel Lobo Antunes, yesterday. "We will be sticking strictly to the terms we have been given."

Mr Brown is stuck with a deal that he must defend against opposition calls - and a Telegraph campaign, now signed by more than 1,300 people - for a referendum.

The Prime Minister has not been helped by EU leaders, such as Germany's Angela Merkel, lining up to boast that the new "amending treaty" is the old constitution in a new form. "The substance of the constitution is preserved," Mrs Merkel told MEPs on Wednesday. "That is a fact."

Labour MEPs have pleaded, on behalf of Downing Street, with EU institutions to downplay elements of the constitution to help the Government domestically "undersell" the deal to avoid a referendum.

But the pleas have fallen on deaf ears and the drip, drip of opinions, especially those rubbishing the legal force of Britain's opt-outs, will continue throughout the summer.

Formal treaty negotiations begin on July 23 and will mainly be conducted in secret, an arrangement primarily put in place to help Mr Brown. Foreign ministers will discuss a 150-page "draft treaty text" in the Viana do Castelo, Portugal, on Sept 7.
Cowardly bastards.

Paying attention, Jerusalem? This is the asshat being sent to secure peace in our time, just as another British asshat claimed after delivering then-Czechoslovakia to the Austrian corporal.

There's more. Much more.

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