No hope of 'yes' vote on EU, Blair is told

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A yes vote on the European Union constitution is "a no-hoper" according to a senior British MEP, who accused the Government yesterday of trying to "frighten people" into voting for it.

A yes vote on the European Union constitution is "a no-hoper" according to a senior British MEP, who accused the Government yesterday of trying to "frighten people" into voting for it.

As the Government prepares to publish a Bill enabling a vote on the constitution, Chris Davies, the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament, said polls showed there was "not a cat in hell's chance" of the British voting "yes" in a referendum. He blamed ministers for using scare tactics to force people to vote yes and for falsely claiming that a no vote would mean the EU will "fall apart".

Mr Davies, who leads one of the most pro-European political groups in Brussels, said that scare tactics played into the hands of "europhobes". He said that a no vote would "amount to little more than a cry of frustration against a changing world," and that it would not lead to withdrawal by Britain.

Writing in the Brussels magazine The Sprout, Mr Davies argued that Britain could remain a keystone of the EU even if it rejected the constitution. "The EU will not fall apart if it is denied a treaty that spells out the reality that EU law has primacy over national law in agreed fields," he said.

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