It would appear from some comments, on this and other forums (in this case the forum is an English word and has an English plural), that my warnings have not been heeded. The Second Reading in the House of Commons is not the end or even the beginning of the end. In any case, there was never the slightest doubt that it will be voted through. There never is the slightest doubt about the Second Reading of a Government Bill. Could we have less hysteria and more attention paid, please?
The fun starts today with the first day of the Committee of the whole House. As we pointed out yesterday, the "usual channels" have agreed to go through the various stages at a gallop.
I cut my teeth (eurosceptically speaking) on the Maastricht debates and campaigns, which is why I do not find it in me to go into terminal decline or have fainting fits over this treaty. That was a colossal battle and the sight of a government slowly losing its lifeblood over the prolonged battle was extraordinary. I guess you had to be there.
This will not be the same. Mr Brown's majority is bigger than Mr Major's was and the Labour Party is not going to throw up significant numbers of rebels, unlike the Conservative Party then. This, I believe, we also predicted. Those 150 rebels would melt away like morning mist, we said.
On the other hand, some people might find some of the debates entertaining and instructive.