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"They are expected to favour an end to the rotating EU presidency
and its replacement with a fixed-term president."

The first being Tony Blair, if he gets his heart's desire.

See FT May 4th: "New post of EU chief tempts Blair"

"Many have assumed that Mr Blair’s role in the Iraq war would disqualify him from the job. But his nomination has been raised by some fellow leaders in private meetings and he could expect the backing of Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy, say aides."

I hope that Brown intends to force a treaty through parliament. It's possible that it could still be defeated there, and if it isn't he would have guranteed losing the next election.

Getting Europe back on the agenda should be our long term aim. A second term Cameron government ought to be in a position where it could contemplate repealing Maastricht. It would be interting to know if by repealing Maastricht we would remain members of the EEC, or whether we would have to re-negotiate entry via EFTA.

"A second term Cameron government ought to be in a position where it could contemplate repealing Maastricht."

Unfortunately whilst I would love for this to happen I don't think there is any chance at all of Cameron doing this. I have absolutely no faith in him over the issue of the EU.

" It would be interting to know if by repealing Maastricht we would remain members of the EEC, or whether we would have to re-negotiate entry via EFTA."

Why not take the easier option of just repealing the European Communities Act.

I suspect the Berlin-Paris relationship will be the cornerstone of future US diplomacy. Brown will have a weakened domestic situation and seek distance from the US.

The key relationship will be Russia for Germany and France - especially after today's explosion on a gas pipeline in Ukraine - Putin is obviously destabilising his neighbours.

Britain has some turbulence ahead and I doubt it will be a driving force in any forum

Hahaha, how happy do you think Gordon would be with Blair as President of the EU? Hilarious.

Naturally we have to point out all this backdoor stuff and make it clear that it's unacceptable. I'm fairly confident there's a significant majority against a constitution in the first place; certainly there'd be a majority against any backdoor dealings.

Repeal Maastricht?

When you negotiated it, you were all standing up to applaud the opt outs that John Major negotiated for you!

In fact, you passed a vote in Parliament supporting his stance. Shame none of the 92 intake understood that...

It would be wonderful to have Europe back in the mainstream of British political debate, but unfortunately all the major parties are afraid to put it there. Of course Sarkozy wants to both retain that centrist EU influence while appealing to his own business community be trying to roll back punitive employment commitments. It will be impossible for him to do both and he will take the line of least resistance. At the end of the day it will not be the politicians that produce the rational actions that deliver the Europe the EU deserves, it will be the Bundesbank as it rails against what will inevitably be more attempts at political interference in the ECB's decision-making. Cameron is probably fortunate that this will play to his advantage as he sits on the sidelines and watches the implosion.

RedSam, I was at Junior school when Maastricht was passed, I think I might be forgiven for not speaking my mind at the time ;-)

Bring on the EU constitution once more by all means:

"You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough".

And with this I promise no more quotations from others what are more cleverer than what I am.

blair's ascent will ensure acceptance of the Federal Emergence. We may not like the EU, but our Tony as President? of the Union Foreign Minister?

We all know that this is the same Federal kick start they have been pushing for years, the internal policing and justice, the executive figures.

This isn't just another shunting of powers and responsibilities through region, state and superstate.

Who remembers "it's just a tidying up exercise".

Now they say that the French actually liked the constitution and are pushing it through slowly, waiting for minds to change.

What happened to our referendum? With the weight of an UK no vote, the discussions would have to go back to the drawing board. Which is why Blair refused the constition, said it was 'dead in the water', when he was just waiting to push it through.

Am I paranoid, or does Blair's departure seem to hover around the points of time when it would be most likely for him to move to Europe?

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