Alex Massie

Sod You, Broon...

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Ah, the tabloids... Bless them. Just when you think no newspaper can keep a healthier stable of high horses than the New York Times, Fleet Street reminds one that humbug and sanctimony are both alive and well in London.

Gordon Brown just made his life more difficult. If he does renege upon Labour's promise to hold a referendum upon the EU constitution treaty - even in its revised "non-treaty" form- he's made an enemy of Britain's best-selling paper, The Sun.

Good.

Here's what The Sun says today:

GORDON Brown last night took the fatal step of breaking his word to Sun readers.

Over dinner with 26 other EU leaders, he allowed the momentous EU Constitution to be approved — without a referendum.

The unspoken toast was to a European superstate.

By raising his glass, the PM transformed the lavish banquet into a sordid Last Supper for Britain as an independent sovereign state.

It was an act of betrayal which will haunt the Prime Minister for the rest of his political days.

Now his Government faces embarrassing Commons clashes as its case for surrender is shot to pieces in the House of Commons.

But the die is cast.

With his substantial majority — and the supine support of Lib-Dems — Mr Brown will do all in his power to drive this legislation roughshod through Parliament.

That will not be enough to give it legitimacy.

The measure is based on deceit and double-dealing which brings shame on this Government.

Mr Brown solemnly backed Tony Blair’s promise in the 2005 election to give the British people a final say.

He reinforced that support during his leadership campaign by vowing to “honour it as a matter of trust with the British people”.

We believed him.

So did millions of voters. Eight out of 10 want a referendum. So do scores of Labour MPs. Trade unions are also demanding a vote.

Our campaign is backed by as many who would vote FOR the treaty as those AGAINST.

Mr Brown claims the redrafted proposals are different to the old Constitution.

But apart from babbling Foreign Secretary David Miliband, he is almost alone.

Every other leader in Europe declares the treaty is the Constitution in all but name.

Damningly for Mr Brown, his own Labour-dominated EU Scrutiny Committee says the same.

It goes on to reject his dodgy claim that British sovereignty over fundamental rights, courts, police and welfare are protected by “red lines”.

Those lines, the MPs say, are drawn “on sand”.

They will be washed away by Brussels and the European court.

Mr Brown may think we are fools. We think he is being too clever by half.

Just as he came a cropper over his abortive election campaign, so he will live to regret breaking his promise.

The Sun intends to keep fighting for that promised referendum.

Right up to and into the next general election.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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