Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ruled out Britain holding a referendum on the new EU treaty. This comes after talks with his Portuguese counterpart, in London. European Union president Portugal wants a treaty conference launched this month. Brown makes clear that British support of an EU compromise hinges on detailed conditions: “The work of the next few months (is) to ensure what were ‘red lines’ for Britain are in detail part of the treaty and if that were the case, then I would see no reason to recommend to the British people that there should be a referendum.” Jose Socrates also stressed that security would be a top priority during Portugal’s six months at the EU helm. “Europe needs more police cooperation to face the threat of terrorism,” he said.
The bloc’s leaders agreed at a summit last month to take decisions in these matters by majority voting but Britain secured the right to opt-out. London in 2005… Madrid in 2004… The European Commission has said that recent failed bombings in London, an attack in Glasgow and the arrests of terrorist suspects in Spain and France underlined the need for collective action.
Brussels said progress in cooperation is “totally unsatisfactory”. Proposals to be presented in October will include boosting data-sharing among the 27 EU states, and an EU-wide network of bomb disposal units.