I know that the excitement has been too much to bear for some people, but the EU’s constitutional debate (triggered by the possible arrival of all those new members) continues to drag on.
The latest contribution (developed, naturally, in secret) comes from EU ‘president’ Prodi, and is summarized here.
Amongst the reported highlights. Brussels should have powers to intervene with force in the domestic affairs of member states in cases of “serious internal disturbances affecting the maintenance of law and order”, as long as it was done in a spirit of “solidarity”. This, of course, is merely the Brezhnev doctrine brought up to date, something that might give the Czechs pause for thought before they sign up for this increasingly megalomaniacal association.
All is not lost, however. According to the Daily Telegraph report:
“Those states “not able to accept the new constitutional system” would face expulsion from the Union under a “special status”. The aim is to prevent a repetition of the first Irish referendum on the Nice Treaty, when one state was able to block advances towards greater integration. The expelled state would be able to negotiate an agreement safeguarding its “existing arrangements” as an EU member, retaining trading privileges as an “associate country”, along the lines of Norway.”
Now that is not a threat. it is an incentive, particularly for British voters, most of whom have consistently preferred to see the EU as a supersized free trade zone rather than anything more profound.
Expulsion on Prodi’s terms would be a delight. Bring it on.