On the IGC leading to the Constitutional Reform Treaty itself he said,
"it was a giant exercise to make obscure what has previously been straightforward. Certain issues were suppressed. We need to remind ourselves that the greater part of the 2004 treaty has been satisfactorily salvaged, and will find itself in the amended treaty, and in recalling that the greater part of the treaty has been salvaged, it exposes the features agreed to greater public scrutiny. "
This is unusual for a europhile British politician, much more like the attitudes that one gets over here. Indeed it is honest.
"We always appreciated that the 2004 treaty was not perfect, but it was also clear that the agreement that we signed but failed to seal was the optimum that could be agreed at this time.Those important places being, France, Holland and the UK.
And what was true then is true to-day, when the mood has become more Eurosceptic in certain important places."
He then turned to Britain's opt outs, particualrly the Charter of Fundamental Rights,
The IGC crafted extremely complex protocols so the Brits can exercise privileges, but they can only exercise them according to the terms set and schedules agreed by the Council and Commission. A greater problem survives over the Charter (of fundamental human rights) because in seeking to block the "justiceability" of it, the fear is that the opt-out will poison the legal system of everyone else. Everyone has signed up to recognising the common position of the member states, but the Brits say, "no we don't - only as it is recognised in national law."
What I suspect is that the opt-outs on the charter will prove to be juducually flawed and will crumble.