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A forum was to be established so that the Convention could consult as widely as possible. The Convention established its own three-phase (listening, deliberating, proposing) working method and encouraged written and oral contributions. From the outset of the Convention’s work, it was clear that M. Giscard d’Estaing was determined to forge consensus and present a single text for the consideration of the Heads of State and Government, and it was this, against the odds, that he was able to do, presenting a text, in the form of a draft Constitutional Treaty, to the Thessaloniki European Council meeting on 19 June 2003.

4 May Lib Dems win Romsey by-election. Cons advance in local elections. 9 May 45 Lab MPs defy government over privatising air traffic control. 20 May T. Blair’s son, Leo, born. 7 Jun T. Blair slow hand-clapped as he speaks to the WI Annual Conference. 36 British Politics and European Elections 2004 27 Jul 3 Aug 8 Sep 28 Sep Government publishes ten-year plan for the NHS. Chancellor G. Brown marries. Blockade of fuel depots causes crisis and Labour poll slump. 9%. 2 Oct European Convention on Human Rights incorporated into English law.

Their two main contentions – that the euro is inevitable, and that Britain is too small to go it alone – have been blown away by Sweden’s ‘nej’ … Instead of always wanting to be at the heart of Europe, never quite making it, sulky and resented, Britain could become the leader of an alternative grouping of non-federalist, peripheral states. ’ As he had promised, the Chancellor returned to the single currency case in his 17 March 2004 budget. 6%), Mr Brown declared that the government did ‘not propose that a euro assessment be initiated at the time of this Budget’, but that ‘the Treasury will again review progress at Budget time next year and report to the House’ (Hansard, Column 324).

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