So the Irish have voted and agreed to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. In addition President Kaczyñski of Poland has promised to sign, maybe even this week. The reality is that the future of the Union then lies in the hand of one single man and not a very nice one at that. The tactics of President Klaus of the Czech Republic clearly are to delay his signature until after a conservative election victory in England, perhaps in April next year. A resounding “no” in a British referendum is of course a foregone conclusion.
This is of course an absurd situation. The new Treaty will, albeit to a limited extent, prevent some abuses of the veto power. That would at last be a step in the right direction.
Remains, however the problem of England. England has already opted out of central parts of the new Treaty. Conservative sources have indicated that a new government will do everything in its power to “repatriate powers” from Brussels to London, particularly in the fields of social and employment legislation, home affairs and justice.
This will, however, not be achieved without difficulty since every change must be approved by all member states which the British may counter by hijacking other cooperation measures through a veto. England would practically withdraw from