Richard North, 05/06/2005  

I am not sure what to make of the "healthy constitution" set out in The Sunday Telegraph leader today.

Purporting to set out a new constitution setting up a "European Commonwealth" (as opposed to the existing "Commonpoverty" I suppose), and anulling the existing EU treaties, we would not argue with the idea of "an association of parliamentary democracies that collaborate one with another for mutual benefit", with all that that entails.

The problem is that the point The Telegraph is making is not clear. If it is suggesting that the treaties are actually replaced by a loose association of nation states, it must know that this will not happen. And, if that is the case – as indeed it is – is it then suggesting that, in the absence of such a transmutation, we leave the EU? If that is its intention, it would have been better if it had said so.

As it stands, this "back of the envelope" constitution is all great fun – the sort of thing we all sketch out from time to time, most often on the back of a beer mat. But where does it take us?

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