Hard to believe after all the ballyhoo, but common sense prevailed at the EU summit in Brussels yesterday. Sarkozy and Brown were all for pushing on with the ratification of the Treaty in the remaining eight countries, at the same time ramping up pressure on the Irish to hold a second referendum but with a YES result this time. It was completely barmy as an idea, of course.
It was none other than the Germans who insisted that no further ratifications be demanded until the Irish one is sorted out, and that no time limit be placed on the Irish to achieve that.
The British, seemingly disconnected from reality, had insisted on pushing through their ratification last week of what is in effect a dead or dying Treaty, to give moral support to the Lisbon patient. Brown and Foreign Secretary Miliband were taking no account of the gaping wound to the body of the Treaty inflicted by the Irish, making Britain look like she was acting out of panic and fear rather than consideration. This is, of course typical of Gordon Brown who dithers and panics in equal measure, and makes himself look ludicrous, as he bottles and bullies without tangible result.
The Germans are in a quandary as the Constitution has been passed by both houses of the German Parliament, but the German President has not yet signed it. He has to decide if it is conflict with the German Constitution. But as it has been rendered otiose by the Irish vote, the President will not sign what is now regarded as a void Treaty. Germans are not able to do a Gordon Brown and pointlessly ratify a dead Treaty as part of some misconceived buddy contract.
The Czechs are also looking very unlikely to sign the Treaty, while the Northern League in Italy are demanding a referendum, and will not agree to sign Lisbon through the Italian Parliament. All in all, the process is well and truly bogged down, and it’s time the world’s media and the EU fantasy machine stopped playing ‘let’s pretend’..
This report from the BBC gives some of the picture –
Germany rejected the idea of moving ahead on Lisbon without Ireland, which won strong Czech backing at the summit.
Our correspondent says concern is swirling around the intentions of the Czech government.
Pressed on whether he intended to ratify the treaty, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said that he was not going to put the brakes on to halt ratification.
But he added he would not bet 100 crowns (£3; $6) on a “Yes” from parliament.
The folly of the British position was emphasised by comments coming from Labour MP for Edgbaston, Gisela Stuart, who attends meetings of the European Council, in yesterday’s European debate in the House of Commons. She spoke as follows –
Whenever we prepare for European Council meetings, I am reminded of an old Jewish proverb—”If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” We think about what is going to happen. That is then overtaken by events that completely dominate the discussions.
This time, the unexpected event was the Irish ‘no’ vote.
The result of that vote was declared not only on Friday 13 but also on the saint’s day of St. Anthony of Lisbon, the patron saint of lost causes.
I am tempted to think that God was laughing on that day.
What she might have added that the British Prime Minister was still making plans for the Lisbon Treaty even after he knew of the events which made it an impossibility, not to mention that the Treaty’s ratification was and is still sub judice. Why Britain needs a Prime Minister who cannot see what is blindingly obvious to nearly all the rest of the world is another thing that takes some explaining. Maybe it’s time that that joke too was brought to an end.
UPDATE – See Bronwen Maddox of The Times LINK HERE
And the BBC at last is starting to realise the hopelessness of the situation, saying that Britain’s ratification through Parliament cannot take effect until the judicial review initiated by Stuart Wheeler has been completed – in which he alleges that Labour promised a referendum and were accordingly elected in 2005, and now have to abide by their promise. LINK HERE.
UPDATE – Telegraph ‘Sarkozy blames Mandelson’ and Courts force Brown to delay British ratification – HERE