David Blackburn

Vaclav Klaus caves into the “train carrying Lisbon”

Vaclav Klaus caves into the "train carrying Lisbon"
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Czech President Vaclav Klaus has developed cult status among Eurosceptics in Britain - a latter day Mons Angel. But it would have been nothing short of miraculous if Klaus had been able to derail the Lisbon Treaty. The Telegraph reports that Klaus can delay signing the treaty no longer. He said: 

"The train carrying the treaty is going so fast and it's so far that it can't be stopped or returned, no matter how much some of us would want that. I cannot and will not wait for British elections, unless they hold them in the next few days or weeks."

The Czech Courts will rule on compatibility on the 27th October, soon after which the treaty will become law. Klaus' train metaphor compounds the argument that Brussels, not Europeans, drove this process - indeed, that Brussels disregarded the wishes of sovereign nations. From the British perspective, the Lisbon horse has bolted. A referendum post-ratification represents the most facile of political gestures; Cameron and Hague must remind voters that Brown and Blair forced this treaty on Britain. Rumours abound that the Conservatives will seek to restore sovereign rights, surrendered without the British people's agreement. Despite the immediate disappointment of Lisbon's ratification, the Conservatives have an opportunity to gain political capital at Labour's expense.