Dutch EU treaty referendum ‘unlikely’

The chance of a Dutch referendum on the new European treaty is small, reports ANP news agency.

Even if MPs in the lower house are in favour of a referendum, it is unlikely to get support from the Liberal (VVD) party in the upper house (senate) which is necessary for a majority, according to political sources in The Hague.
Uri Rosenthal, the VVD leader in the senate, said on Tuesday: ‘Just like the VVD in the lower house, we are waiting for the Council of State’s advice on the EU treaty. But if we do vote for a referendum, it must not be binding [on the government].’
The referendum in 2005, in which 60% of the Dutch rejected the European constitution, was also non-binding but in practice it was impossible for the government to ignore the result.
Political sources told ANP that two of the three coalition parties in the senate (Christian Democrats and ChristenUnie) also have their doubts about a referendum.

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