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UK opposition leader calls for referendum on EU reform treaty

[JURIST] UK Conservative Party leader William J. Hague [official website] repeated his earlier call for a general referendum [press release] on the proposed EU Reform Treaty [PDF text; EU materials] during an interview with BBC Radio 4 Thursday, saying that the reform treaty is essentially the same [recorded audio, RAM] as the failed EU Constitution [JURIST report] and threatens to erode British sovereignty without a democratic mandate. Hague also said that the so-called four-non-negotiable "red lines" [JURIST report] introduced by the UK government are "unraveling by the day."

In June, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the EU did not need a real or de facto constitutional treaty, and insisted that the reform treaty did not amount to a EU constitution. Government officials have also denied that a referendum is necessary, saying that the reform treaty does not contain "constitutional characteristics" and preserves the UK's autonomy in its judicial and foreign affairs. European diplomats are currently working to finalize details of the landmark agreement [JURIST reports; press release] reached between EU members in June. The Guardian has more.

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