Richard North, 01/10/2005  
 

According to the BBC website, Blair is to meet Chirac on 7 October for talks over the future of the EU.

Given recent and continuing events, these should be very short talks indeed – on the basis that the EU hasn't got a future. But any expectations of brevity must surely be premature as the French (unelected) prime minister Dominique de Villepin will be joining the dynamic duo. By the time Vile pin has finished reading his poetry, half the day will be over.

Anyhow, "Downing Street" says the talks will "lay the groundwork" for the informal summit of EU leaders at Hampton Court London, later in the month. On the agenda will be the EU constitution, and the everlasting "reform" of the EU. Maybe, this time, Chirac will finally get it through to Blair that the CAP is non-negotiable.

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