As the spectre of a European constitution treaty is once again raised, Gordon Brown’s ascendancy to the premiership has breathed new life into the old, and mildly musty, question of whether Britain needs a written constitution. Harriet Harman, deputy Labour leader, and Jack Straw, the minister responsible for constitutional affairs, have in recent months both come out in favour of a written document, and Brown himself has made favourable noises. Anthony Barnett, the founder of the pressure group Charter 88 which campaigns for a written constitution, is optimistic.
In the June issue of Prospect, Robert Hazell, director of the Constitution…
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