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Britain postpones EU constitution referendum indefinitely

[JURIST] Downing Street confirmed Monday that the UK was postponing indefinitely a referendum on the troubled EU constitution after the charter's rejection by both France [JURIST report] and the Netherlands [JURIST report]. The vote had been expected for spring 2006. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] insisted, however, that the postponement was not a signal that the UK believed the constitution was necessarily dead as the possibility of a vote in the future still existed. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will make an announcement [JURIST report] in the House of Commons this afternoon. The decision comes as French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder have been urging countries to continue the ratification process [JURIST report] in spite of the setbacks from the French and Dutch votes. Blair's spokesman added that Europe needed to reflect on why those two countries rejected the charter and said that the need for economic reform was likely a factor. AP has more.

12:16 PM ET - UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has made a statement [text] to the House of Commons regarding the charter.

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