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Democrat June 2005 - Editorial by John Boyd (Number 88)

The European Union has no clothes

The French voters and organisations which brought about a resounding rejection of the EU state Constitution in defence of democracy must be congratulated and thanked. This Non! result was despite the French Government, President, TV stations, main political parties and newspapers, and an avalanche of propaganda all pushing for a Yes! vote. The pressure included direct illegal interference from the Commission in the French overseas territories and temporary withdrawal of the highly unpopular Directive on Services.

This is the second major rebuff to the plans of the federalists, the first being the Swedish rejection of the euro. The EU-elite class and federalists will not give up even though they have a setback for which they arrogantly had not calculated.

It has to be made crystal clear in the labour and trade union movement that according to international and EU law the Treaty for a European Constitution is dead and the status quo of the Nice Treaty stands. The Treaty has to be ratified by all 25 Member States. If one member state rejects the Treaty then there is no point or need for the process of ratification to continue. There was no need for the referendum in the Netherlands to take place. The Treaty is dead. There is no rational process by which it can be amended or resurrected.

Those behind the drive to set up an EU-state find themselves in a cleft stick. To continue with the Dutch referendum and get another serious rebuff, or, accept there is no point in holding the referendum and deliver the coup de gra themselves. Both France and the Netherlands are two of the original six founding members of the European Economic Community where up until now there has been little EU-scepticism.

The EU-critical movement is growing across the whole European Union with new organisations representing different perspectives being set up.

The order in which referendums were to take place was to put the EU Member States with the weakest No! campaigns at the start and finish with the strongest. For this reason Britain was put at the end of the queue. The plan, with the Commission's fingerprints all over it was to encourage the domino effect. This has badly backfired.

Until Mr Blair did a U-turn and announced a referendum in Britain France was going to push their ratification process through the National Assembly. From their positions of power both Prime Minister Blair and President Chirac made profound political mistakes.

One factor in the Non! vote was the introduction of the Directive on Services vigorously opposed by French trade unions. The Directive was quickly withdrawn in an attempt to appease the labour movement but the cat was out of the bag and the debate mushroomed not only in France but here largely to thanks to labour movement organisations like Trade Unionists against the EU Constitution and Campaign against Euro-federalism.

This directive clearly signalled that big capital had a blueprint which undermined all the gains made for conditions and wages spelt out in national legislation. The directive was to be enshrined as the ideological aspect of the EU state Constitution. The link was made between the objectives of big capital and one of the objectives of the EU Constitution.

If the now misnamed ratification process is continued after the Dutch referendum then it is clear that methods such as stealth and political bullying will be used to introduce elements of the EU Constitution. Already the EU Foreign Office has been put in place, steps made to develop further a European Army with battle groups and to build an EU-military-industrial-complex. The latter has already been misleadingly labelled the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Like the old fable the position has been reached where the European Union has no clothes. The No! vote in France has caused a much needed debate across the whole continent of Europe and closer critical analysis and inspection of what the EU is really about.

Any attempt to put the EU state Constitution into place piecemeal must be exposed and stopped which includes the needless and illegal ratification process. All who support democracy and their organisations must help ensure the Treaty for a European Constitution is dead and the secateurs taken to side shoots.