“Blair hints at a possible U-turn on EU Constitution referendum,” Reuters, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1081522.cms, 19 April 2005 (from Pundita through ZenPundit).
Remember when I said
The important news: French intrasigence may save Tony Blair’s political career. Tony Blair has promised a vote on the new treaty, which is deepy unpopular in Britain. Losing a vote of that importance would seriously harm Blair’s credibility. Further, if the other countries vote yes, Britain may be asked to leave the European Union.
However, a French no vote gives everyone cover. Great news!
tdaxp: right again
Prime Minister Tony Blair indicated on Monday for the first time that Britain might shelve plans to hold a referendum on the European Union Constitution if France rejects the treaty next month. Blair’s Labour government, fighting for re-election on May 5, has until now been adamant it will call a vote on the charter in 2006 regardless of plebiscite results elsewhere in the EU.
As fears of a French ‘no’ vote grow, polls show Blair would be very hard-pressed to convince traditionally euro-sceptic Britons to back the treaty.
Most commentators say a ‘no’ vote in Britain could end the pro-European Blair’s career as premier.
Asked on Monday whether he would call a referendum even if France had voted against the charter, Blair said: “You can’t have a vote on nothing.”