Saturday, May 24, 2003
So far and no further - 24th April 2003, 16.57

John Major, excoriated former leader of the Tories, wisely maintains a low public profile, waiting for the historical judgements that will bolster his reputation in the longer term. Therefore, this week's cover of the Spectator, with Major towering over the white cliffs of Dover, keeping a stiff upper lip, represents a rare political intervention in support of the Tories.

Major opposes the European Constitution and adds his voice to the campaign demanding a referendum on the matter. The addition of moderate Europeans like Major is a positive development. With their support, this issue is far less likely to be divisive for the Tories (far more so for Labour) and allows the calls for a referendum to incorporate and include a number of disparate groups: Eurosceptics, Europhiles and those who wish to withdraw.

Major also identifies the probable outcome of the debate. With such a centralised constitutional document, how many countries will veto or decline to ratify this vile steaming pile of ordure? The Constitution has the potential to exacerbate the divisions seen earlier this year and fracture the European Union into a 'variable geometry'.

Giscard D'Estaing is the maitre d' imploring "And, finally sir, a wafer thin clause" with the EU as Mr Creosote, fit to burst!


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