El dilema europeo de Blair

Tony Blair ha logrado una notable tercera victoria electoral consecutiva. Sin embargo, la abrupta merma de su mayoría en la Cámara de los Comunes y el daño a su reputación personal significan que su posición política se encuentra seriamente debilitada. Como resultado, estará mal situado para manejar los desafíos futuros, el más intratable de los cuales será la nueva Constitución de la Unión Europea.

La Constitución, adoptada por los 25 estados miembros el año pasado, no es en si misma un gran problema. Introduce algunas mejoras significativas para el voto de mayoría en el Consejo de Ministros, da algunos nuevos poderes al Parlamento Europeo, incluye una Carta de Derechos Fundamentales. Podría ayudar a armonizar las políticas exteriores de los estados miembros, pero no es un documento revolucionario.

De acuerdo con la práctica constitucional británica normal, se esperaría que el gobierno ratificara esta Constitución mediante una votación en la Cámara de los Comunes y, hasta las recientes elecciones generales, la enorme mayoría pro-gobierno habría sido más que suficiente. No obstante, Blair, acorralado por la controversia acerca de la impopular y posiblemente ilegal guerra en Irak, pensó que podía ahorrarse problemas en Westminster posponiendo la ratificación hasta el 2006 (es decir, un plazo cómodamente alejado en el futuro) y proponiendo que se llevase a cabo mediante un referendo popular.

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