Brown under pressure over EU constitution after MPs rule it 'gives too much power to Brussels'
UK Daily Mail | October 12, 2007
Gordon Brown is facing fresh pressure over the revived EU constitution after a Labour-dominated committee of MPs warned that the latest draft was even worse for Britain.
Michael Connarty, chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee, wrote to Foreign Secretary David Miliband protesting that the Government's 'red lines' appeared to be unravelling.
He warned that Brussels was plotting to start meddling in the UK's criminal justice system after five years, despite repeated Government claims that it was totally protected from EU interference.
The Labour MP, whose committee has pored over every line of the new 'Reform Treaty', claimed Britain would be forced to pay massive fines if it refused to cooperate.
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And he said Mr Miliband and Mr Brown appeared to be unaware that their 'red lines' were being chipped away.
Mr Connarty said: "It's a fierce movement in the wrong direction for the Government. I'm not sure the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister are even aware of it, from the comments they are making."
The Prime Minister insisted yesterday that he was ready to veto the controversial treaty if opt-outs over areas including foreign policy and tax are not maintained at a crucial summit in Lisbon next week.
After talks with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso in Downing Street, Mr Brown suggested he was close to victory - and again ruled out a referendum. "I have got to be absolutely sure
that the British national interest has been safeguarded in every one of the issues that we have raised," he said.
"When we look at the detail of it, I believe that we have succeeded."
Mr Brown said it was 'well known' that he would not agree to the treaty if it breached any of his 'red lines'.
"We want to make progress with the reform of the European Union in a way that does not make the fundamental constitutional issues and that's why we want to achieve our red lines.
"I'm a cautious man and I will wait until we see the discussion which takes place in the council next week before I make a judgment on this."
Tory Europe spokesman Mark Francois said: "Michael Connarty's letter blows a hole in Gordon Brown's cynical spin strategy in the run-up to Lisbon."
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