Richard North, 04/05/2004  

Lord Howell, former Secretary of State, and chief opposition spokesman on foreign affairs in the House of Lords has written for today’s International Herald Tribunal.

He describes the constitution, with its absence of a “plan B” as “riding for a fall”. The Irish presidency is pressing on recklessly with the current draft constitution and the project is bound to tumble.

Blair's decision to hold a referendum in Britain, which is certain to vote no, is no more than bowing to the inevitable. With or without the British, the constitution it could never really have worked. The Blair decision merely makes rejection certain.

Yet, he argues, for the enlarged Union to evolve, something more is needed – the very thing the constitution fails to provide. The hierarchical, top-down, centralised structure of the EU, which no longer makes sense. However, he does not see any sign of a Monnet-like figure who can perceive the best new ways of weaving Europe together.

For the full article, click here.

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