Following up the "constitutional concept" lie, Tory MP Ann Winterton asked the foreign secretary, in a written parliamentary question, to define the terms "constitutional concept" and "constitutional treaty". Europe Minister Jim Murphy replied as follows:
As the then Prime Minister (right hon. Tony Blair) set out in his statement to Parliament on 25 June, the Reform treaty will differ fundamentally from the Constitutional treaty in both form and substance.This is a classic non-answer. And not only does Murphy not answer the question, he offers the unsolicited assertion that, "the Reform treaty will differ fundamentally from the Constitutional treaty in both form and substance."
The Reform treaty rejects the Constitutional treaty approach. The mandate for the Reform treaty agreed by the European Council states clearly: "The constitutional concept, which consisted in repealing all existing Treaties and replacing them by a single text called 'Constitution', is abandoned."
Technically, that might be true, since the one amends the existing treaties while the other replaces and adds to them. But the existing treaties, as amended by the "reform" treaty, will be fundamentally the same as the constitutional treaty, "in both form and substance".
It's how you tell 'em, I guess, but they really do not want to answer that question.
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