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Tories call for EU treaty referendum; POLITICS.

The Tories renewed calls for a new EU treaty to be put to a referendum yesterday as critics claimed it was 96 per cent identical to the dropped Constitution.

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said the similarities made it a "breach" of Labour manifesto promises to refuse a referendum. A draft treaty was published on Monday and a three-month "intergovernmental conference" launched to come up with a replacement for the constitution thrown out by French and Dutch voters.

But the Open Europe think-tank said only 10 out of 250 proposals had been changed and Mr Hague said there was "near unanimity" that it remained the constitution "in all but name".

He told the Policy Exchange think-tank: "It is our belief that this Treaty should not be ratified without the British people's agreement in a referendum for two reasons: first, because the referendum question goes to the heart of the issue of trust in politics; and, secondly, because such a fundamental change to powers and role of nation states such as ours vis-a-vis the EU should require the British people's consent."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 25, 2007
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