Richard North, 06/06/2005  

Following Straw's statement to the House of Commons today, Jean-Claude Juncker has given his response, courtesty of AFX, conveyed by Forbes.

Speaking at the ECOFIN Council in Luxembourg, he told reporters that the constitution ratification process was not dead. The UK's decision to suspend (postpone, actually) plans to hold a referendum on the constitution has not killed the ratification process, he added.

"The British government has today not said that it won't hold a referendum, but that they have to wait for the summit [European Council] next week to see what other EU states think about the ratification," he said.

That it the truth of it. As Straw himself has said many times, the decision is "not for the the UK alone". Blair must now go to Brussels on 16/17 June and get his instructions. Juncker is calling it as it is.

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