Vaclav Klaus is now getting backing from his government to secure an opt-out to the Lisbon Treaty, according to the Wall Street Journal.
PRAGUE -- The Czech government said Monday it is ready to discuss President Vaclav Klaus's demand for a special clause in the Lisbon treaty with other European Union governments and officials, but asked him to guarantee he won't raise any new conditions for his approval of the document.
Last week, Mr. Klaus, the last hold-out among European leaders and an outspoken critic of the Lisbon Treaty, said he would only sign the treaty if the Czech Republic gets a permanent opt-out from the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights.
All power to your elbow, Vaclav, keep it up, son.
Hmmm. So this would appear to put the ball firmly back in the EU's court, would it not? No opt-out, no ratification from the Czech Republic. One would assume that Klaus's negotiators will be fêted when they next return to Brussels ... Barroso might even break out the big tin of Quality Street and his best Port. And, of course, an opt-out seems certain.
All this on the back of Ireland also being seduced, like a louche tart, into voting yes to the treaty with exemptions and opt-outs, after Brown had squinted his way through scribbling away the UK public's right to an opinion in some Benelux back room.
Now, forgive me if I'm applying parochial logic to this, but if I signed my business up to an agreement between 27 similar businesses to mine (disregard the fact that the Office of Fair Trading would be crawling all over us for it), and after I had added my signature, two of the 27 obtained special terms not available to me at the time, I would be tempted to cry foul.
I might decide that I would like to consult my partners and/or legal advisers about it. Maybe even hold a vote amongst my employees to see what they thought of the deal, and whether it was a partnership worth pursuing. And if they said no? Well, I might take my chances and argue through the courts that the agreement had changed since I put pen to paper, so was null and void.
I think I'd have a solid case, too.
Now there's a thought.