The Government is literally all over the place on the revised Constitutional Treaty. It's difficult to keep up with the multitude of different positions they've had - of which the latest Brown-Blair "rows" are just the latest example.
As Lord Owen wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday "We need to hear again the convoluted illogicality of how our diplomats explain why constitutional changes were thought not to need a referendum in 2003, then how a referendum was promised in 2004, even if the French or Dutch voted no, only for the pledge to be withdrawn and replaced with the promise of a referendum in the 2005 general election - only in 2007 for Blair to say no referendum once again. Perhaps Gordon Brown will have enough sense to realise that the British people cannot be treated with contempt like this."
If that is the case, no-one seems to have told the Prime Minister's spokesman. At the press briefing yesterday afternoon he claimed that there was no need to hold a referendum this time because the name had been changed and the flag and anthem were being deleted.
According to the Downing Street website:
"Asked what it was in 2005 that required a referendum, and what were the elements of the constitution, the PMOS replied they were elements such as flags, national anthems, etc."
Which is funny, because we're sure there were some more important elements in the Constitution than the flag and the anthem... The EU President and the EU Foreign Minister perhaps?
As someone from the Commission helpfully told Le Figaro yesterday:
"It’s no great loss! The European flag already exists anyway..."