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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 June 2007, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Press views: The new EU treaty
Sunday papers
The British Sunday papers are divided in their reactions to the agreement reached on the EU constitution.

Some warn Brussels is taking over and call for a referendum, while others feel the deal is a positive step forward.

The Observer

The Observer is clear: "The much-vaunted conspiracy by Brussels against British sovereignty is a fiction."

The paper argues that over recent years the EU has moved closer to being a "loose-knit free trade zone", something they say should please most Eurosceptics.

But it is concerned that the commitment to "undistorted competition" by all nations in the EU market might be weakened, something that could threaten Britain's economy.

The Sunday Express

The Sunday Express takes the opposite view. It "does not trust the outgoing prime minister" and wants a referendum.

It says that despite claims to the contrary, Brussels has actually won new powers in more than 40 policy areas.

"Some of the fudges designed to hide this fact were so blatant they were described by some critics as 'an insult to the intelligence of British voters'", the paper says.

The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times also fears the devil is in the detail of the treaty and wants a referendum.

Its leader warns: "This is the way that power slips away from national governments and national parliaments to Brussels: not with a bang but a whimper - the drip-drip loss of sovereignty."

The Sunday Mirror

The tabloid asks simply: "Did Tony Blair sell us down the river?"

The answer it gives its readers is: "No - there are no big changes that will affect our daily lives."

The Independent on Sunday

The Independent on Sunday takes a different approach, calling for a referendum, but insisting that given the chance most Britons would show themselves to be pro-European.

Columnist Glyn Morgan says not having a national vote would be "short-sighted, undemocratic and unnecessarily defeatist".

He also believes that if soon-to-be Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced one he could strike a blow to David Cameron and isolate the Tory leader from the anti-EU faction of his party.

The Sunday Telegraph

The Sunday Telegraph also wants to see a referendum on the treaty.

"It marks another power grab by the Eurocrats", the editorial says.

"As a Prime Minister who himself does not have a mandate from the British people", Mr Brown should offer the country a referendum as a way of strengthening his own position, it adds.

The News of the World

The red-top brands Mr Blair an "EU traitor", insisting he has "secretly paved the way for Brussels to dictate Britain's foreign and defence policies".

It wants to see a referendum on what it calls a "massive surrender" of UK sovereignty.

The Mail on Sunday

The Mail on Sunday says Mr Blair has handed his successor an "EU timebomb".

It also blames the electronic media, including the BBC, for failing to report the complexities and "devious fudge" which it says is hidden within the treaty.

British people are "victims" of a stronger Europe and must have the right to vote in a referendum, the paper insists.




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