MPs scorn EU treaty/constitution ‘differences’

An influential parliamentary committee has voiced doubts over government claims the EU reform treaty is significantly different to the aborted constitution.

The foreign affairs select committee says there is no “material difference” on foreign policy in the two documents.

Last month’s Lisbon Treaty is designed at streamlining the administration of the enlarged EU after the bloc’s constitution was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

The government had pledged to hold a referendum on whether to adopt the EU constitution, something it claims is not necessary for the reform treaty.

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said MPs had confirmed suspicions of a government “stitch-up”.

“[The report] makes it clear that the government has not been straight about the impact the treaty will have on the EU’s foreign policy powers,” he said.

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