It is the desire of a vast majority – 82% – of the people of the United Kingdom to be afforded a chance to give or to withhold their whole-hearted consent to the ratifying of the Constitutional Treaty Mark II signed without a thought by Vanity Blair just before he did a runner. For the moment Gordon Brown continues to defy the wishes of the British people, dishonourably and deceitfully trying to insist that Mark II is wholly different from Mark I and that there is therefore no need for us to have such a vote. So much for Mr. Brown, whose personal honour is thus besmirched, being willing to ‘listen’ to the people. But how much longer can he continue with impunity to stick two fingers up to the British public?

There is a sense that he is slowly but surely being pushed into a corner, step by step. Now comes the intelligence that there are signs that Brown’s escape route to the Left is about to be closed with news from the TUC and individual unions that some will seek a motion at the next Congress in favour of a referendum. For example the GMB union has already submitted a motion in favour of a referendum; The RMT has, remarkably, submitted a second motion calling for a ‘No’ vote.

The Union’s motives are rather different from those of the rest of us: the GMB is exercised that there was an opt-out to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. But the rest of us should not cavil at the motives, which in a democratic society the union is perfectly entitled to have; rather we should welcome their support for the democratic process.

If such a motion was to be passed at the TUC it would be a serious blow for Brown. With it, he would be left in a position of very considerable isolation with only himself, the Cabinet, Ministers outside the Cabinet and perhaps a minority of the rest of his party in Parliament holding out against a referendum. Surely in those circumstances he must bend or lose all credibility?

One must not forget however, that yielding on a referendum on the EU will gravely weaken him on the issue of that other referendum, that in Scotland on the issue of independence. If he now agrees to the EU vote, he may find it much more difficult to resist in Scotland. Not for the first time might the Scottish Tail wag the UK Dog.

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