Will Gordon Brown sell the United Kingdom down the river? That, surely, is the question that every Member of Parliament of every political party ought to be asking this week.
There is no particular reason why we should have a general Election just because "Gordon Brown was not elected as Prime Minister". We do not, in England, elect our Prime Minister because, whatever impression Mr. Blair may have sought to give, the Prime Minister is not the Head of State. John Major became Prime Minister, following Margaret Thatcher, without an election and Jim Callaghan took over from Harold Wilson without an election and it has happened many times before.
No. The real question is whether or not we will be dragged through the back door into a European Constitution without the referendum giving us the right to vote that has been promised by successive Labour Governments and, of course, that has consistently been demanded by the Conservative Party.
It is simply not good enough to say that the deal currently being stitched up behind closed doors by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the newly-elected French President, Nicolas Sarkosy and, in the dying days of his premiership, by Mr Blair is "not a constitution." and so does not require a referendum.
While the details have yet to be published it has already become clear that the proposed new "treaty" will sign away Britain's right of veto in many key areas of European policy making including home affairs, justice and asylum and immigration. The concept of European foreign policy has got to be alien to a nation state that has, as we have, a proud history of promoting and defending, if necessary by force, its national interests. The creation of a "European Foreign Minister" and the granting of treaty-making powers to the EU, which is what is proposed, would drive a coach and horses through our sovereignty and it must be resisted.
Angela Merkel is on record as having said that she intends to use "different terminology" without changing the substance of the original constitution and she clearly hopes that by presenting this as a "treaty" and not as a "constitution" she can side-step calls for a referendum from not only the United Kingdom but from the Dutch and the French who threw the last constitution into the waste bin and from those other counties of the EU that are bound by their own statutes to vote on any substantive constitutional change.
So back to the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Will he allow a devalued and discredited man, Mr. Blair, to sign away our rights as his parting shot through the door of 10, Downing Street or will Mr. Brown robustly defend our interests, refuse to accept this shoddy cooked up regurgitated "not-a-constitution" and insist that before any needed changes to the structure of the European Union are made we, the British people, will vote upon the deal?
The entire future not just of Gordon Brown's premiership but of our country rests in a very precarious balance.