Plan D is certainly not for Democracy

YOU probably haven't noticed, but we have just come to the end of the Austrian presidency of the EU. Last week, we heard from the outgoing President in Office, Austrian Chancellor Schussel, of all the wonderful things the Austrians have done in their six months and, this is the worrying part, all the group leaders in the parliament were fulsome in their praise.

YOU probably haven't noticed, but we have just come to the end of the Austrian presidency of the EU. Last week, we heard from the outgoing President in Office, Austrian Chancellor Schussel, of all the wonderful things the Austrians have done in their six months and, this is the worrying part, all the group leaders in the parliament were fulsome in their praise.

I must agree on one point; they have done well to keep the details of any decisions out of the press, certainly in the UK, so that the project can proceed apace, in spite of the firm rejection by the voters in France and Holland. Since those NO votes and the decision to introduce a period of reflection, two more countries have ratified the Treaty. So much for putting things on hold!

Plan A failed. There never was a plan B or plan C but, joy of joys, they came up with a plan D. In case you were wondering what that is all about, they are taking Plan D to the people, but not in your neck of the woods, or anywhere within a thousand miles and not for very long. It is harder to hit a moving target. Plan D for Democracy and Debate or should that be dictat and deception? They call it listening to the people. Ha!

So what is the crisis? Well, simply that the political elite have no idea what to do next. All they can agree on is to continue the period of reflection for maybe two years. That will allow the French to hold their Presidential election in 2007 with the prospect that the future of Europe will not feature in it! As if!!!


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So where does that leave the UK? Mr Blair promised us a referendum on both the Treaty and whether we should join the Euro. Whither those promises now? The longer the delay on Treaty ratification, the more likely the anger will grow about what the EU does and doesn't do for you and me. Not just here in the UK, but across the continent.

There is major disquiet in Poland, Sweden, Denmark, to name but three. In a recent Eurobarometer poll, the countries with the most 'EU dissatisfied' citizens were Austria, Latvia and UK!

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In January 2007, the EU presidency passes to Germany and we are promised, by the President of the Commission, José Manuel Barrosso, a major statement at the intergovernmental conference in March. It will be called the Berlin declaration and even the thought of it fills me with horror. Not so much listening to people, after all you haven't been asked, as this is how it will be.

But we can all relax because next up is Finland. They plan to do very little in their six months, or so we, the public, are being told.

If you believe that, you must have come down in the last shower of rain as the federalist bandwagon is rolling, unstoppably, onwards.

Tom Wise is a UK Independence Party Euro MP for the East of England

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