Monday, March 29, 2004
Too Late! Too Late! The People Cry! Too Late for You! Too Late for Me!

We may be 21st century men but we're still fools. Michael Howard, leader of the Conservative Party, has stated that if the Blair administration passes the European Constitution, a Tory Party would reopen negotiations. Apart from an ill-considered comparison to the Thatcher rebate, in terms of the significance of the changes proffered, the Tories have to remain wedded to the illogical position that their demands can be institutionalised in diplomatic exchanges with the other European Member States.

The news on the Eurocon is now stale so I won't plough across other furrows. Whilst Howard's rhetorical resolution is welcome:

"This constitution is unacceptable to me and, I think, to a majority of the people in this country. Were I faced with that position, I would do what has to be done in order to change a situation that is unacceptable. I think we will be able, as an incoming Conservative government, to do what needs to be done to safeguard the vital interests of this country," he said.

Mr Howard insisted that it would be possible to change the constitution - "if you have a very clear idea of what is in the interests of your country and you are determined to be resolute and firm about the way in which you negotiate to secure that objective. That is the kind of approach I would take after the election if I were faced with that position".

His statements point to a Tory party promoting a semi-detached approach to Europe. However, an integrated superstate may not settle for a halfway house and, as such, the logic of the Tory position, dependent upon the reaction of other Member States is potentially rejectionist.

(23.37, 29th March 2004)


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