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UK parliament pushes EU referendum bill forward

[JURIST] UK lawmakers Wednesday backed a government bill to put the new EU constitution to a national referendum. The European Union Bill [PDF text] will now go to a House of Commons committee for further study. While signed last November, the European constitution [text]must still be ratified by all member states before taking effect. The new constitution would streamline EU decision-making and create more accountability to national governments. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has released a statement arguing the adoption of the constitution, saying, "This is a constitution which works in Britain's interests. If we were then to say 'no', it would leave Britain literally isolated, it would leave Britain weaker." Opinion polls, however, suggest that many are opposed to the EU constitution with a significant number still undecided. BBC News has more.

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