May 26, 2005


French in disarray as they admit EU treaty vote is lost (Charles Bremner in Paris and Philip Webster, 5/26/05, Times of London)

THE leader of France’s ruling party has privately admitted that Sunday’s referendum on the European constitution will result in a “no” vote, throwing Europe into turmoil.

“The thing is lost,” Nicolas Sarkozy told French ministers during an ill-tempered meeting. “It will be a little ‘no’ or a big ‘no’,” he was quoted as telling Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the Prime Minister, whom he accused of leading a feeble campaign.

Although Europe would be thrown into disarray, the Government would be greatly relieved if M Sarkozy were right.

Ministers have privately told The Times that Britain is prepared to ditch its commitment to a referendum if France, or the Netherlands next Wednesday, vote against the constitution.

And so Tony Blair gets to administer the necessary coup de grace to the idea of Britain joining Europe.

Tory suspended for lining up with UKIP over sleaze (Anthony Browne, 5/26/05, Times of London)

THE Conservative Party suspended an MEP yesterday after he supported the UK Independence Party in a censure motion against José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission.

The UKIP had succeeded in overcoming overwhelming opposition from the Brussels political establishment to make Senhor Barroso defend himself against sleaze allegations days before European referendums in France and the Netherlands.

In an extraordinary piece of political drama, Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader in the European Parliament, faced booing in the chamber and was denounced as a demagogue and accused of trying to undermine the Commission’s reputation before the referendums.

Roger Helmer, a Conservative Eurosceptic, came to his aid and denounced political leaders, including those of the European Conservative group, for strongarming MEPs into withdrawing their names from the UKIP motion.

How have the Tories managed to get themselves to the Left of the French?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 26, 2005 5:00 PM

Ah, 'coup de grace'... Only the French could create such a beautiful term to describe a deathblow.

Posted by: Just John at May 26, 2005 5:05 PM

The Tories should throw in the towel.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at May 26, 2005 6:15 PM

Whatever happened to that hot young Thatcherite university student chick who was leading protests a few years ago?

Can't we appoint her dictator of France or something?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 26, 2005 8:41 PM
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