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The renamed EU constitution will turn the EU into a highly undemocratic state and will fundamentally change the way we are governed and how laws are made.

The Treaty would establish an EU that has all the legal, constitutional, political and military features of a single state. It would put aside intergovernmental arrangements to create a new entity where member states are reduced to the status of regions or provinces.

Under the constitution, power is transferred from elected national governments to an un-elected European Commission in Brussels. It confirms the sole right of the Commission to initiate new laws and removes from member states the power to veto proposed legislation in more than 60 new policy areas.

As Sir Stephen Wall of the pro-Constitution group Britain in Europe recently confirmed: "The rules are not designed to allow a member state, which has been outvoted on a piece of legislation, to opt out from applying what would then be law"( Financial Times Jan 20 2005).

This should concern all European trade unionists, as it would deliver a fatal blow to any attempt to win progressive change in the law. You may be able to lobby an MP or parliament, but you don't stand much of a chance with the remote, unaccountable and unelected institutions in Brussels or MEPs who have no rights to table legislation.

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