Saturday, 14 June 2008

Czech president breaks ranks on treaty

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has broken ranks with the EU governing elite's carefully choreographed response to the Irish rejection of the Lisbon treaty.

In contrast to the 'carry on regardless' position of many other European leaders, including our own government, in a statement on his website Mr Klaus calls the Irish vote a "victory of freedom and reason over artificial elitist projects and European bureaucracy" and says that "ratification cannot continue".

While the Czech presidency is only a ceremonial position, and the country's government is unlikely to take the same view, according to the Daily Telegraph the Czech senate chairman has also rightly said that continuing to ratify the treaty would make "no sense".

The Czech Republic is one of nine countries that have not yet ratified the treaty. In Britain, the final Parliamentary stage of ratification is expected to be concluded on Wednesday next week.

Yet, as Global Vision - the research and campaigning organisation headed by Ruth Lea and Lord (Norman) Blackwell - very pragmatically puts it: "it would be inadvisable for Parliament to rush ahead with completing the passage of the Bill only five days after the Irish result rather than taking advantage of the time now available for further analysis and reflection on the changed circumstances."

For Gordon Brown to proceed with ratification regardless of the Irish 'No' vote would betray a blinkered obsession with pushing forward EU political integration, rather than exhibit the reasonable and rational response to yesterday's events that most people would surely expect from their government.

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