When we see the French opposing the new constitution, one wonders if it is a good text after all. The communists, trade unions and old Lefties are against it. For them, the text is shocking as they see it as an expression of neo-liberalism and “turbo-Thatcherism”. It speaks about internal market and free competition! Quelle horreur, sacre bleu et bien jamais [1], they say.

Here, in Great Britain, half of us are preparing to say No to the text because we think it means more obstacles and regulation from Brussels. As the arguments for this rejection are incompatible with those of the French, one of us has to be wrong. The French react as if they were seeing, for the first time, the appearance of free market in the European Union with this text when the Treaty of Rome already mentioned the concept in 1957. It is not something new; the French argument is absurd.

For us, however, this text is a development of majority voting, that is, an additional means at the disposal of Brussels to reject the British willingness and to introduce more regulation. What damages France is the Colbertian thinking, not liberalism. Anyway, Françaises, Français, votez non, votez souvent [2].

Daily Telegraph (UK)

The French must give Giscard a rocket”, by Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, May 19, 2005.

[1] In French in the text

[2] In French in the text