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The Independent Online

French socialists have given their resounding backing to the new EU constitution. Laurent Fabius, the ambitious former prime minister who advocated rejection on the grounds that the treaty was not European enough, deserves his rebuff. But he is not the only loser. If Tony Blair hoped France would kill off the treaty before his own promised referendum, he may have miscalculated. The French national verdict now stands a greater chance of being a oui than a non. The constitution has survived its first serious test of European public opinion. It is high time Mr Blair got out there and started campaigning.

French socialists have given their resounding backing to the new EU constitution. Laurent Fabius, the ambitious former prime minister who advocated rejection on the grounds that the treaty was not European enough, deserves his rebuff. But he is not the only loser. If Tony Blair hoped France would kill off the treaty before his own promised referendum, he may have miscalculated. The French national verdict now stands a greater chance of being a oui than a non. The constitution has survived its first serious test of European public opinion. It is high time Mr Blair got out there and started campaigning.

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