Great Britain has indefinitely shelved its plan for a referendum on the European Union Constitution:
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told the House of Commons that Britain reserves “the right to bring back the European Union bill providing for a U.K. referendum should circumstances change.”
“But we see no point in proceeding at this moment,” he said. “These referendum results raise profound questions about the future direction of Europe,” said Straw.
Across Europe, many people saw the British announcement as a final nail in the coffin of the EU charter.
“Jack Straw now has shut off the respirator,” said Villy Soevndal, the leader of Denmark’s small left-wing Socialist People’s Party. “The charter already was in a coma after the French and Dutch ‘nos.”’
The debate over the meaning of the French and Dutch votes continues, and various “experts” are quoted in the AP article. No doubt it’s true that some of the “No” votes were cast by people who were afraid that the EU would introduce a freer, Anglo-American style economy. But a recent survey indicated that 64% of UK residents intended to vote against the Constitution, suggesting that much more is involved.