Matthew Dancona

Is Brown’s word good enough for the public?

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“A flagrant breach of a solemn promise”: that’s how William Hague just described Gordon Brown’s declaration (on the BBC’s Politics Show) that no referendum is necessary on the new EU deal. The experts will argue over the precise extent of jurisprudential overlap between the 2004 Constitution and the freshly-minted 2007 “Reform” agreement. But this will be settled by politics, not legal knowledge. Are the voters willing to accept Gordon’s assertion that no referendum is needed – yes or no? Thus he faces the first test of his authority, and of the nation’s trust in their new Prime Minister. It’s a daunting one.