The 'reform treaty'
A meeting of top civil servants in Brussels to discuss the German draft of a new treaty is still going on. Much later than expected. And much less leaky. I certainly expected to have seen a copy by now. As I haven’t, it's difficult to make sense of the titbits I have heard. It's 11 pages long and would be called “The reform treaty”.
As I understand it:
- • The name foreign minister is dropped - but there’s no suggestion of an alternative
- • The European Parliament and Commission wouldn’t get any more powers over foreign affairs... which upsets a lot of countries
- • Countries would have the right in to opt in or out of deeper co-operation in the area of justice and policing
- • The Charter of Fundamental Rights would be legally binding
- • There’s a mention that the summit will discuss voting weights... the bee in the Poles' bonnet
This is a bit of a curate's egg for Tony Blair. Many countries will think that the Germans have caved into his demands, but there’s plenty of red meat for Eurosceptics to get their teeth into. I suspect the meeting is going on so long because it's seen as giving too much away to the UK.
This is just a draft (that I haven’t even seen) and there’ll be a lot of tinkering between now and the wee hours of Saturday morning.