Richard North, 12/05/2004  

After Falconer and Blair, to add to sundry others, along comes Gordon Brown with his own contribution to the fantasy politics that New Labour seem now to find more appealing than the real thing.

According to the said Mr Brown, he expects the “yes” campaign to win the referendum if Britain secures 'red line' issues in the constitution talks. "If we secure a treaty that is successful for Britain.... I believe we can successfully put it to the British people," he told journalists at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

It really must be something they put in the tea.

With nothing to offer by way of coherent argument, Brown then repeated the lame and increasingly tedious manta that seems now to serve as the multi-purpose slogan for the yessites. He did not want to "isolate" Britain from Europe. Now there’s a thing. What is he afraid of – someone creeping in overnight and towing Britain into the Atlantic?

No sooner than that was said, Brown again retreated into the comforting fantasy of the Blairite vision of Europe, telling everyone at large that the UK was “gaining support for its firm line on tax, defence and social security”.

And what was the Irish presidency proposal, Mr Brown – Scotch mist?

But what exactly went on at the Finance meeting, we shall never know. Like North Korea, we have a legislature here which meets in secret. For the moment, he can tell us anything he wants to and we have no means of checking.

Stay tuned, however, for a report on the House of Lords debate on the EU constitution later today.

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