Page last updated at 22:25 GMT, Sunday, 29 May 2005 23:25 UK

Full text: Straw on EU 'Non'

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Jack Straw said there would be profound implications
Here is the full text of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's comments on the French "No" vote on the EU treaty.

It has always been our judgment that this constitutional treaty was a good deal for Britain and a good deal for the European Union.

The European Union is a union of democracies, the people of France have just cast their vote on the treaty and voted 'No' by a clear margin. We must respect that result and we do.

As I said a few weeks ago a 'No' vote by France or any other member state would create a problem for the European Union.

But given the issues in the campaign in France and the apparent scale of the result it is... more significant than that.

Indeed, the result raises profound questions for all of us about the future direction of Europe, about the challenges to us and the rest of the world, about the ability of the European Union to respond to those challenges and the demands of its citizens.

Britain should and will play a full part in these debates in the months ahead.

Tonight's result therefore probably deserves a period of reflection by all 25 member states.

Let me close by repeating that in the United Kingdom this constitutional treaty will only be ratified by a referendum of the people of the United Kingdom.


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