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Europe

British Vote on EU Constitution Unlikely Before 2006

Denis MacShane, the UK minister for Europe, has said that a referendum on the Constitution in the UK is unlikely before 2006.

Denis MacShane, the UK minister for Europe, has said that a referendum on the Constitution in the UK is unlikely before 2006. In an interview with German political magazine Der Spiegel, Mr MacShane said, "We will possibly have a general election in May or June 2005. In the second half of that year, Britain will also hold the EU presidency. It would be difficult to hold a referendum at the same time." Furthermore, he believes that UK citizens will respond positively if the people were asked "Do you say Yes or No to Europe?" But polls show that the British people are broadly in opposition to the Constitutional Treaty. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair shocked political observers in April when he announced that the UK would hold a vote on the proposed treaty - a sharp U-turn from his previous position.

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