An interesting piece on the Constitution negotiations has gone up on the European Voice website (subscription only).
It reports that the UK is becoming "the most difficult member state" in the talks. Apparently the Government is opposing the creation of a "legal personality" for the EU - which is being made a "red line" issue by the Germans. As has already been reported the UK is also opposed to the Charter having legal force, to giving up more national vetoes and to collapsing the pillar structure (which would hugely increase the power of ECJ judges and the Commission).
What is interesting is that apparently the French are saying that in return for the Charter's omission, and the deletion of EU symbols from the text- such as the flag and the anthem - the UK needs to give way on majority voting. A spokesman for Sarkozy said, “Blair can be bold on qualified majority if there is nothing on the charter and the Union’s symbols”.
We doubt that the UK Government will sign up to anything that abolishes more national vetoes. But one thing is certain; they won't get their way without a fight. Time after time in EU negotiations Blair showed he wasn't up to it; can Brown deliver where Blair failed?