This article needs additional citations for verification. UK location in the EU 2016. A referendum was expected to take place in the United Kingdom in united kingdom referendum to decide whether the country should ratify the proposed Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.
As negotiations finalising the text of the proposed constitution drew to a close in early 2004, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, had consistently denied the need for a referendum on its ratification. Initial reaction amongst the opposition was three-fold. Firstly, the Conservatives were pleased as they felt they had forced Tony Blair into a U-turn. For example, Michael Howard, the Leader of the Opposition, said “Who will ever trust you again? Secondly, the Conservative Party repeated its opposition to such a constitution which it sees as involving an unacceptable loss of sovereignty. See Controversy over the new constitution. They then wanted to know about the timing of the referendum and the precise wording of its question.
Commentators expected that a referendum would not be held until after the next General Election, which was expected to take place in 2005. They suggested that the Labour Party would want to minimise the impact of the issue of Europe on the election campaign by saying “we can discuss that at the referendum”. UK opposes the treaty, as referred to by Blair above. Supporters of the Government have said that a referendum would need to be held after sufficient parliamentary time has been devoted to analysing the text, thus forcing a delay until after the election. The Conservatives have also suggestedthat if the Treaty were rejected, the current government would repeat the referendum until it got its desired result. However, at his usual monthly news conference on 22 April, Blair said: “If the British people vote ‘no’, they vote ‘no’. You can’t keep bringing it back until they vote ‘yes’.
The proposed referendum question was included in Part 3 of the European Union Bill 2005. Should the United Kingdom approve the Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union? A ddylai’r Deyrnas Unedig dderbyn y Cytuniad a fyddai’n sefydlu Cyfansoddiad i’r Undeb Ewropeaidd? After the agreement of the final constitution draft, Blair announced his full support for it, claiming that it protects the national veto on sensitive issues such as tax, social policy, defence and foreign policy. A bill authorising the referendum was announced in the Queen’s Speech of 23 November 2004 and was introduced to Parliament in January 2005 as the European Union Bill 2005. On 26 January 2005 the government announced that the question asked in the referendum will be: “Should the United Kingdom approve the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union?