I have received a second communication from my MP, containing a few crumbs, which she claims are the reasons she doesn't support the referendum, and chooses not to serve the people, but to parrot the party line and serve the government instead. I expect I shall contact her again, to make the following points:
The constitution was agreed at the inter-government level. At that time we were told that it was a good deal, that all HM Government's 'red lines' had been 'preserved'. We were told there was no need for a referendum, there hadn't been a referendum for Maastricht or Nice etcetera, and we have a system of 'representational government'...
However, Mr Blair capitulated to pressure, and the government position changed. The policy was made into an election pledge, as confirmed in the Manifesto under which my MP was elected. The French and Dutch polls necessitated a renegotiation of that document, involving ministers and heads of government from around Europe, a great many of whom are now telling us the 'amending treaty' is essentially the same as the constitution. Some say 90%, some say 95% or even 98%: the sum difference.
The government line now suggests the little that has been removed is of disproportionate significance. My MP's letter states that this treaty 'does not establish a new constitutional basis for the EU', and that 'constitutional symbols', such as the flag, hymn and the title of a certain job have been removed.
As for the flag, we all know what that is, and the hymn is “Ode to Joy”. The job that was to be called foreign minister still exists, only the name has been changed to high commissioner. The differences she cites are indeed symbolic - and no more.