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BREAKING NEWS ~ Exit poll says Dutch reject EU constitution by large margin
BREAKING NEWS ~ Exit poll says Dutch reject EU constitution by large margin

[JURIST] An exit poll announced on Dutch state television [NOS article in Dutch] indicates that Dutch voters have overwhelmingly rejected the EU constitution 63 to 37 percent. AP has more.

4:05 PM ET – BBC News has posted a Q & A on the uncertain future of the EU constitution after the Netherland's apparent rejection of the charter.

4:12 PM ET – Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende [Wikipedia profile] has conceded defeat in his campaign to have Dutch voters ratify the EU constitution. The Dutch government has posted a summary of his remarks. Balkenende said:

I'm disappointed, of course, and so are many other people….The government, along with many political parties and civil society, campaigned for a "yes". So, of course, we aren’t happy about this result….But there is also good news, like the high turnout and the energetic debate that has emerged all over Europe…

The Dutch government believes this ratification process should now continue as planned in other countries. At the end of the process, it will be important for us to see how each country has responded to the treaty…The Netherlands, as one of the founding fathers of the Union, will remain a constructive partner within Europe for taking on the problems that matter to all of us. I will tell my fellow European leaders that they must do justice to the Dutch "no". Because we understand the Dutch voters' concerns. About losing sovereignty. About the rapid pace of change, in which the public doesn’t feel involved. And about our financial contribution. The European Union must take account of these issues.

AP has more.