February 20, 2005


UK hatred of EU is our biggest challenge, says constitution commissioner (Justin Stares, 20/02/2005, Sunday Telegraph)

Margot Wallström, the EU commissioner responsible for pushing through the controversial European constitution, has likened her task to "dressing Frankenstein's monster".

In her first public remarks about a job that will keep her busy for the next 18 months, Mrs Wallström told a press conference in Brussels that the British would prove particularly sceptical. "The UK is filled with hatred towards the EU institutions," she said. [...]

The Netherlands, France and Denmark will be asked to vote on the text later this year, but the commission's opinion polls show the UK is more steadfastly opposed than any other country.

In a Eurobarometer poll last month, the UK was the only EU country in which opponents (30 per cent) outnumbered supporters (20 per cent). The rest said they did not know enough about the text to form an opinion.

You'd like to think the Brits have one last fight against power-mad continentals in them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 20, 2005 12:00 AM

I cannot suggest keeping tabs on this via EU Referendum enough.

Posted by: Sandy P at February 20, 2005 2:03 AM

God of Battles steel our hearts.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 20, 2005 11:24 AM

Given the failure of the Guardian's letter writing campaign to the citizens of Clark County Ohio (40 mi west of where I sit), I guess we shouldn't organize a similar campaign of our own. But maybe if we held a slogan contest. "A Real Bill of Rights Has a Second Amendment."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 20, 2005 11:29 AM

The wisest course for the US is to stay out of the fray entirely saying 'We will support whatever decision is arrived at democratically by the Europeans.' Then, when they pass this monstrosity we should then open our doors to all the entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, physicians and other techies who will wish to flee here.

Posted by: Bart at February 20, 2005 1:50 PM


How Dulles of you.

Posted by: oj at February 20, 2005 2:19 PM

Piggybacking off the stupidity of other nations which choose to prevent their best and brightest from acheiving to the best of their abilities has been a centerpiece of American policy since the American Revolution. If anything, the Dulles period, when immigration was limited although it did become somewhat easier for Nazi war criminals to enter the country, was an aberration.

The use of the word 'democratically' is meant to encourage the pro-referendum forces in each nation. I have little doubt that if referenda were held in most of developed Europe, that the Constitution would be a miserable failure. Perhaps it would win in Greece or some of the more desperate former Warsaw Pact states but that's about it. Dulles' face would have broken had he uttered the word 'democratically.'

Posted by: Bart at February 20, 2005 2:44 PM

i wouldn't give up hope on the brits yet, but its hard to see how they are going to resolve all their internal problems (in my lifetime, at least). not the least of which is their tremendous passivity.

the welfare culture is still going strong there and the state is absorbing more and more of the economy.
it's sad for me, i used to love going over there, and now pretty much avoid the place.

Posted by: cjm at February 20, 2005 3:36 PM