Monday, August 13, 2007

Bookbinding matters

It's good to take part in consultation exercises, like the drug questionnaire in my last post, or the online petitions system at the Prime Minister's website. There were only 800 odd signatures on the EU NotAConstitution Treaty Referendum petition, and the government has just issued a PFO*:

The agreed basis for the new Reform Treaty states "The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called 'Constitution', is abandoned." The Reform Treaty will be clearly based upon the existing EU Treaties, and will be a traditional 'amending Treaty', along the lines of previous EU Treaties such as Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice. The UK has never held referendums on amending treaties in the past.
(emphasis added)

So there we are - it's not a constitution. It's pretty clear from the two highlighted passages that the effect of the Treaty is intended to be identical to that of the Constitution, but instead of repealing existing treaties and immediately re-incorporating them in a single binding labelled 'Constitution', the new arrangement is to tack the extra bits from the Constitution onto the existing treaties. a + b + c = abc So there's no attempt even to hide the fact that this is the same as the Constitution.

But that's actually an improvement. It's not quite a barefaced lie. The binding will be different.

* Polite "Fuck Off"

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