Monday, May 30, 2005
After the French 'non'
Posted by David Smith at 12:34 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The polls were right and France rejected the EU constitution 55%-45%. That should mean, after all the niceties, that the constitution, and the prospect of a UK referendum, are dead. Blair will prevaricate for a while, not least because he still sees winning a European vote in Britain as his coup de grace.

He should, however, try a different tack. European voters are turning against integration because of economic failure. The Lisbon agenda for economic reform in Europe has been a damp squib. The referendum verdict in France should be a wake-up call to Europe's political elite that, rather than wasting their time on working-time directives or EU presidents, they need to get on with the urgent task of boosting Europe's competitiveness. Like Nero, they're fiddling while Rome burns.

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