More on the French referendum
Rather than a red and blue map, Libération shows that the “yes” regions are blue, but the rest of the country are in shades of yellow and orange, depending on how emphatically they said “no”:
Le Monde‘s map shows that even in Paris, four districts voted “no”.
Cinco razones por las que los franceses dijeron ‘No’ Five reasons why the French said “no”, via Barcepundit (my translation):
The Dutch are expected to reject the Constitution. Will there be a Referendum in the UK?
From the Hindustan Times:Blair should feel relieved at French Non
Blair had previously said the referendum would go ahead, so long as there was a treaty to vote on. But, in practice, the French result could be a fatal blow to the constitution. A final decision on Britain’s planned referendum is unlikely before the middle of next month, but a Downing Street aide conceded: “A double ‘no’ would be a very big blow.”
A double rejection will have serious ramifications for the Government. Whatever its outcome, a UK referendum was viewed by Labour figures as a natural moment for Blair to step down, with Gordon Brown replacing him. That would have enabled a contest in the summer, followed by Brown’s coronation at Labour’s conference in autumn 2006.
The French result also means Britain’s presidency of the European Union, which begins in July, will be dominated by the constitution. Blair and Brown had wanted economic reform to be the key issue of the presidency. Instead they will be in charge of picking up the wreckage from the French and Dutch votes.
Ministers are also braced for a backlash from the French government, with Paris likely to resist what it sees as “Anglo-Saxon” reforms to the EU. It may also block British plans for Turkey’s admission. Crucial discussion will take place at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on June 16. A substantive announcement on the implications for Britain are likely to be delayed until then.
The Scotsman urges, Blair should grasp opportunity with both hands
The fact is that once the French voted against the constitution, its chances of survival were nil. Mr Blair should underline this by holding a swift British referendum to make sure it is not just dead but buried.
So what happens next? The obvious move by Tony Blair is to cancel the UK’s promised referendum as being moot now that the process has been derailed. Yet there are already frantic attempts going on by the integrationists to prevent that from happening, on the basis that it would be an admission that the process really is over.
Now this attempt to get the UK to vote anyway is really splendid news and I hope that other people who share my views that the EU is an abomination will remember Napoleon’s dictum “never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake” as any UK vote will almost certainly be a vote against the EU which will just widen the rift in political cultures between France and the UK.
The question remains,
Politically, the issue will be–in light of the “no” vote–whether the most committed European federalists should press on with tighter European integration embodied by the draft constitution, without the rejectionists, and allow member states to join that so-called hard core if they so chose.
Or should the constitution be quietly forgotten, and France and Germany revert to the old model of leading European integration through executive and judicial institutions, and leave elected legislators and their conception out of the picture as much as possible?
One of the questions of our times.
Follow-up post: The new Jacques and Dom show