When asked about a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty this morning, I heard David Miliband state something along the lines:
'The first words of the agreement read 'The EU Constitutional Treaty is abandoned"
then going on to give the expected response that no referendum will be granted the British public. As usual the ineffectual interviewer Andrew Marr simply let this pass with not even an attempt at a follow-up question.
But what does the controversial mandate available from page 16 onwards from this pdf link
actually state? I quote from that document:
I. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
1. The IGC is asked to draw up a Treaty (hereinafter called "Reform Treaty") amending the existing Treaties with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the enlarged Union, as well as the coherence of its external action. The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called "Constitution", is abandoned. The Reform Treaty will introduce into the existing Treaties, which remain in force, the innovations resulting from the 2004 IGC, as set out below in a detailed fashion.
Miliband's assertion seems to me an outright lie. What is abandoned is "the constitutional concept
" of replacing the earlier Treaties, the constitutional provisions passed by the 2004 IGC will instead be incorporated in the existing treaties, as the full text of the paragraph makes abundantly clear.
Consider also in passing the intent of the words from that same paragraph "as well as the coherence of its external action" you cannot have external action without a common policy, and external here means foreign!
The outcome of the 2004 IGC was titled "Provisional consolidated version of the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe" linked here
, therefore, if those provisions are now to be incorporated within the existing treaties the EU will have a Constitution, and as Commission President Barroso has pointed out - will effectively be an Empire - and Britain's new Foreign Secretary will be both a publicly proven liar and redundant.
The BBC provides transcripts of the Sunday AM interviews and when that is available tomorrow I will post the exact words used by David Miliband here
A British Parliamentary briefing paper on the IGC 2004 still makes valuable reading and is available in pdf format from here