Power for the President on Turkey Vote

I see that the French National Assembly has agreed a compromise proposal on the accession referendum, which will give the President the power to opt for the people or the parliament to approve Turkish membership.

The clause requiring a popular vote for any new accession increasing the EU population by 5 per cent will remain in the French constitution, but the President will now be able to choose decision by parliament instead, as long as he gets the support of a three-fifths majority in both the Senate and the National Assembly.

Final decision on this formula is expected at the Versailles Congress on July 21, when various constitutional changes should be confirmed.

Mr Sarkozy has meantime confirmed to the European Parliament that further enlargement cannot be contemplated before the Lisbon Treaty has been implemented.