Pending announcement of the French result, this Blog has received an intriguing document produced by the Instituto Affari Internazionali, entitled "The European Constitution: How to proceed if France or the Netherlands votes 'no'".
In short, the authors conclude that, in the event of one or both countries voting "no", the ratification process should be neither suspended nor abandoned. They assert that all member states have expressed a commitment to proceed with ratification by virtue of Declaration 30, appended to the Constitutional Treaty. Member states cannot unilaterally or collectively decide to change the ratification process.
Thus, member states which have not already ratified should continue with the process whence, once 20 members have done so, the matter should be referred to the European Council.
In the meantime, the authors caution that "the European Union must not remain paralysed". Rather, they say, "it must continue and intensify its efforts to relaunch its policies, even by implementing in advance, where possible, the provisions of the Treaty that do not meet with open opposition".
Thus, the considered response in the event of a rejection of the constitution should be "full steam ahead". Member states should implement it even faster than they are doing already.
So what, precisely, do we have to do to stop this thing?