Who is sovereign?

 

          Yesterday in Parliament several weighty EU documents were considered by the Commons. It was a timely reminder of the huge scope and breadth of the EU project. It underlined how much power has already gone to Brussels, and how much more they need and want to complete their Euro union. We had just 90 minutes to consder 294 pages of  documentation on the financial and economic matters alone. It meant some of us were unable to speak in detail on these issues.

             Bill Cash, the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, highlighted how the EU is now seeking to assert the primacy of the European Parliament over the UK and other national Parliaments. I supported him in objecting to this development. The Minister confirmed that the government is well aware of this attempt and are themselves seeking to prevent any such claim becoming established.

               The central documents related to the Financial Transaction Tax, where the UK is refusing to join, and the enhanced economic and banking integration for the Eurozone which the Uk is not part of . It is becoming increasingly clear that the UK needs a new relationship soon. The growing tentacles of the Euro project are forcing the Euro members to surrender more power and pool more of their decisions.

                  Belonging to a single currency is like sharing a bank account with the neighbours. The countries that pay most money into the common bank account at the ECB are wanting  more central control over  the ones who draw money out. They understandably want controls over banks to prevent weak banks undermining the system, and controls over states to stop them  borrowing and spending too much. There is in effect one overdraft, and the prudent do not want it to expand at their expense.

                  I sought assurances that UK banks would still be regulated here and not by the common banking regulators of the Euro system. It is becoming more difficult to keep control of UK matters within the UK, given the all embracing plans and the relentless pressures, often mounted under cover of the so called single market.

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71 Comments

  1. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    The pooling of sovereignty began in 1957. Complete self determination (and no more interference from supranational institutions) requires returning to before 1957, a complete Brexit. It’s good to read that there are strong voices in the UK government and the Conservative Party, not to chose a loser’s path but remain engaged as EU member in, if need be, a Thatcherite fighting spirit. Is your parliament not free to take more time to consider 294 pages of text, or have parliament committees to prepare such consideration?

    • Hope
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      The audacity for someone like Clarke to use Thatcher’s name after he recently made alternative claims against her just shows how desperate he is and that he will go to any length to support his deluded and extremist view to support the EU no matter the consequences. The IMF recently pointed out that the EU were prepared to sacrifice Greece to save the Euro. The current huge loss of jobs, business and human suffering is clear for all to see. Clarke needs to travel to Europe and have look to see what utter rubbish he is espousing. He would make a more useful contribution if he followed his past practice of closing his eyes falling asleep on the job and leave the real world to serious politicians who have the interests of the country at heart. Europhiles always come across as extreme fanatics who are traitors of sovereignty.

      • APL
        Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Hope: “Clarke needs to travel to Europe and have look to see what utter rubbish he is espousing.”

        Then perhaps we could revoke his passport.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        @Hope: All the same it should not be forgotten that EU(EEC) membership and the Single European Act which Thatcher fought for in 1975 and 1986 respectively, had a measure of “pooling sovereignty” woven into them. Pure sovereignty was already past tense.

        • Mike Stallard
          Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          Peter, sovereignty is not a word much used.
          Here are two really bad words, however:
          “nationalism”
          “popularism”.
          Both of these, like xenophobia, racism, sexism and religious arfe now confined to the dustbin of history.

          We move forward into the brand new world of 1976.

        • Disaffected
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          You miss the point. Clarke’s article was based on a Thatcherite approach to the EU negotiation pretending Cameron would do the same. We already know he cannot be trusted by his catalogue of U turns and failed promises and we already know he is going to stay in the EU with his heart and soul- not really a Thatcherite approach to negotiation. He has recently shored up his pro European team with more Europhiles to combat the growing swathes of discontentment. The last time Cameron made claims about budget negotiations (2013) they took another £1.3 billion from the UK taxpayer to show him who is boss. He could do nothing about it. Leadership- 1 of 27 voices most of whom wanting our money- more like a hushed whisper. Voice at what hypothetical table- taking the EU to court to stop them wrecking our financial industry, twice in recent months. This is my money he is wasting on a failed political dream by a few fanatics. They are even prepared to sell out their party and country to achieve their extreme goals. Highlighted by the recent article by Geoffrey Howe. They all have one common trait- they cannot be trusted. The EU is a choking the life out of democracy and is prepared to kill countries in its deluded quest.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        I don’t have any strong objection to Clarke invoking the name of Thatcher, who contrary to the general view willingly accepted and actively promoted eurofederalism for most of her political career.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Well, Peter, you’re good enough to take the trouble to explain all of this to us in the UK, but how much time do you spend explaining to your own countrymen that you actively want the Netherlands to cease to exist as an independent sovereign state and instead become nothing more than a part (or maybe parts) of a pan-European federation?

      Because of course sovereignty “pooled” would in reality be sovereignty “lost”.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: The issues of pooling sovereignty are not as contentious in the Netherlands and have not been hidden from the public, therefor needs little extra attention. Has sovereignty and self-determination become overrated in the UK? Sovereignty or self-determination is always relative as you know: Scots are in a situation of pooled sovereignty with England. How much sovereignty or self-determination for the Labour voters in Wokingham now, or for the Tory voters come a future Labour government? Influence is relative. IMHO, the difference between a national and a supranational parliament is gradual, not absolute.
        Pooled doesn’t equate to lost, single, even small countries have often enough had their way in Brussels, at least have influenced decision making.

        Reply Do not muddle sovereignty and power. A Labour voter in Wokingham has just had 13 years of Labour rule, so they had plenty of influence then. Unfortunately their government gave away so many of our powers of self government that in future whoever is in government will be unable to deliver for them unless we have a new relationship.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          So, by your account, the Dutch would be perfectly content to see their country reduced from being an independent sovereign state to being just a part (or maybe parts) of a pan-European federation.

          I wonder how many of them would actually agree with you on that.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 21, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            @Denis: It depends how federal the current hybrid EU and EZ will ever become, but a majority willing and wanting to be part of that can be reasonably expected, as it is in the Netherlands’ economic interest as an extremely open economy.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 21, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

            Peter, if as you suggest the Dutch would be happy with a certain amount of eurofederalism, a certain amount of legal subordination of their national institutions to eurofederal institutions, a certain amount of destruction of their national sovereignty, then might they not be disappointed, maybe even angry, to later discover that (with your enthusiastic support) their politicians had signed them up to a eurofederalism which was as total as the eurofederalist lawyers on the EU’s Court of Justice chose to make it?

            Bearing in mind that when the Dutch were asked to approve the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which in an early draft mooted the alternative name of “United States of Europe” rather than “European Union”, they said “No”?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: I believe knowing more details and context of the 2005 referendum and of subsequent polls in the Netherlands than most British and yes, I maintain that a majority will agree to the further integration now envisaged. It has to be gradual, slow even, but that is what we see happening.
            “Destruction of national sovereignty” sounds rather theoretical. For ordinary people you have to explain (as is happening!) why Polish and Latvian truckdrivers are found on Dutch highways doing some Dutch hauling business, and how we have to deal that it in compliance with EU regulations. There is acceptance that we are part of a larger entity, the EZ / EU. Trade unions, SMEs, large companies, the agricultural sector (very large in export), all of them are in favor of EU and euro. Ordinary people weigh those factors when they go out to vote.

            Reply I think poeple here fully understand the implicaitons of losing sovereignty – it means the politicians they elect to Parliament can no longer sort out the immigration, welfare and criminal justice matters that they want changed.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 21, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

            @Denis: I don’t want to keep some good news from you:
            “Dutch government review criticises EU powers”,
            I’ll give quote, to avoid pasting a BBC news link:

            “The Netherlands wants to keep control over social security, working conditions and media regulation. . . . The initiative is similar to the UK government’s current “balance of competences” review, aimed at assessing where EU powers may extend too far.”

            (This comes from the current “ConLab”( 🙂 )government in the Netherlands)

            Reply Given this little glimmer of sense from the Dutch government, can we no look forward to a more Eurosceptic approach from yourself?

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply: Accepted, although the terms sovereignty and power come close: A future Conservative government may not have the power to force 27 countries into a new deal, but it still has the sovereignty to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or invoke art. 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, demonstrating that “pooling sovereignty” was entered on a voluntary basis.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 22, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            Peter, you write above:

            “For ordinary people you have to explain (as is happening!) why Polish and Latvian truckdrivers are found on Dutch highways doing some Dutch hauling business, and how we have to deal that it in compliance with EU regulations.”

            If “ordinary people” in the Netherlands long ago willingly signed up to eurofederalism, as you seem to suggest, then surely they shouldn’t need to have any of that explained to them by superior beings such as yourself?

            And they would already realise that when they cast their votes for representatives in their national parliament they should not expect those representatives to have the power to decide on laws governing haulage on the roads in their own country, because “we have to deal with that it in compliance with EU regulations”?

            You are no doubt aware that stealing money still counts as stealing even if it takes place gradually over a period of years or decades; and the same is true of stealing sovereign power from a people by the gradual, surreptitious, disempowerment of their elected national parliament.

            And when asked directly whether they wanted this process to continue the Dutch people said “no”, but apparently that has made little difference to you or to most of the Dutch political class.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 22, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            @Denis: no doubt in 20 years time you’ll still be clutching at this one straw, the protest vote against an unpopular national government (for which the 2005 referendum proved an opportunity), the vote motivation having little to do with Europe. That in the 2012 general elections the eurosceptic party lost a third of its support and decreased to 10% of the popular vote apparently didn’t provide that straw. Giving citizens of a small country influence at a European level is not really seen as theft but as gaining participation in supranational democratic processes. (when certain policy areas are moved from local to national level, there neither is a feeling of loss of sovereignty over here). Has “ordinary people” become a forbidden term in English? There is no “class society” over here and people don’t consider themselves “superior”, not even the politicians. Do you know Dutch society???

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Well, Peter, in 20 years time we certainly won’t be discussing the results of your 2008 referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, given that your political establishment chickened out of holding one.

            So was that a case of “once bitten twice shy”, because having seen “ordinary people” reject the Constitution they didn’t dare ask them again about almost exactly the same legal provisions, just in a new packaging?

            Or was it because the Empress Angela had said that she didn’t want any referendums on her treaty, and your government lacked the backbone to tell her to mind her own business?

            I notice here today:

            http://euobserver.com/institutional/120602

            “The Netherlands, one of the Union’s six founding countries, has attacked “creeping” EU interference in people’s day-to-day lives.”

            But, inconsistently with that:

            “It underlined that it does not want to change EU treaties.”

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted June 23, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

            @Denis: Denis let me brutally honest here (I’ve been prompted by the moderator to show a more eurosceptic approach): I rreally don’t think that the Dutch government was very keen for a second referendum. However, it was the independent advice and conclusion of the highest court in the Netherlands (Raad van State) that |”the new draft lacked the constitutional character of the rejected treaty”, which made the difference here. Be also aware, that (who ever was in charge many thousands of years ago), the monkey’s rulebook (its DNA) only needed adapting some 2% to create you, a completely different species altogether. Likewise, there now will be no EU superstate.
            (Forgive me for not translating 86 pages of Dutch legal text and not repeating all the changes between the two draft treaties.)

            Reply Euroland is busily creating a European state

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            No, Peter, you are not being “brutally honest”; the opposite, you are taking a thoroughly dishonest line to justify your government chickening out of asking your countrymen whether they would change their minds on treaty changes which they previously rejected. The same easily recognisable dishonest line taken by certain people in this country.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Heath, Major, the BBC, the serial ratter Cameron and the lack of more than about 100 MPs with intelligence, honestly backbone it seems to me that the battle is now lost. We will have Miliband in 23 months time yet Cameron cannot even decide what powers he wishes to be returned. We shall see how the Tories do in May 14 in the EU elections, one assumes third place with perhaps about 20% of the vote.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic: I seem to remember the Murdoch press (and Sky News) being some what supportive to Nu-Labour, and more was done to bolster the EU during the Nu-Labours era via support for Lisbon etc. than had ever been done before, so please stop ranting on just about the BBC in ever comment, you are making yourself look like the child who has just learnt a naughty word and who wants to keeps shouting it because he thinks it gains him affection (of course mistaking affection for attention)…

      In fact, had the debate not been stifled, a BBC report might have caused the Blair and his government to resign over WMDs (in much the the same way as “Watergate”), it might have been Mr Howard leading the UK’s discussions at the EU regarding the EU Constitution and/or the Lisbon Treaty.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        The BBC role being absurdly pro EU, pro the catastrophic warming religion, pro an ever bigger state, pro ever more regulation, more taxes and pro enforced “equality” has done huge damage to the UK and distorts the whole political debate.

        They did at one point take a good line on WMD until they were cowed by government. Mind you, what hope do we have with Lord Patten put in charge by Cameron. Cameron clearly “thinks” just like Ken Clarke.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          @Lifelogic: Would you care to cite some specific examples of were the BBC have been proved to have been biased, rather than just have a baseless rant again simple because the BBC isn’t biased towards what you think should be or want broadcast – in other words please prove that the BBC is creating the news and not simply reporting news that other broadcasters (such as Sky) are failing to report…

          PS, note to JR, the sites Cookie problem has still not been sorted, it is crazy that the cookies are expiring whilst the site is open in a browser!

          • matthu
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            Are you a BBC employee?

            Are you simply suggesting that you have never encountered any BBC bias? Never entertained the thought that they may be even slightly biased?

            Have you ever paused to consider which newspaper carries most (if not all?) of the BBC’s advertising?

            ( etc advertises an unchecked website-ed)

          • Jerry
            Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            @matthu: Are you a paid up employee of Sky News, or perhaps a shareholder, have you ever not stopped to wonder why Sky News do not cover certain stories when their competitors (BBC, ITN+Ch4 & Ch5) do -could this actually be due to editorial bias rather than being unbiased?…

            As for were the BBC advertises vacancies, so what, I suppose teachers are all lefty because teachers jobs are posted in the TES, all bankers are right wing because their jobs are in the FT. The Guardian simply has a media section/supplement (that is all sorts of media jobs, from company press officers to the DG of the BBC).

            Oh and to answer you question about my employment, no I do not.

            Reply What makes you think the FT is right wing? It is fairly neutral politically, though seems to favour the EU project

          • Jerry
            Posted June 21, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            @JR reply: I was trying to be sarcastic, after all the FT is for capitalist so must be right-wing – or that is how those on the left will surely see it, just as the many on the right seem to consider The Guardian “lefty” when actually it is centrist.

            I agree with your summary of the FT.

          • APL
            Posted June 23, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “The Guardian “lefty” when actually it is centrist.”

            Ha ha ha! Jerry you are funny.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            @APL: Wrong again, not funny, just unbiased.

        • Bazman
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

          I watched the BBC report on the climate meeting and on Nigella Lawson’s problems on the BBC and on SKY at the same time. paying particular attention to the BBC reporting of the climate meeting. In conclusion you would like the BBC not even report this meeting or the fact they where discussing that man made emissions could be at fault. The Nigella story was reported pretty much as facts as they where. SKY actually had commentators making comments!
          What you want to see in the BBC to censor by not reporting stories you do not want to see, as often you blame the BBC for merely reporting a story that other news sources do, and the rest reported in a way you see them. What does this tell you and do find this acceptable?

          • Jon Burgess
            Posted June 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

            Baz, the BBC can report what they want. I just don’t want to be compelled to fund them.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            @Jon Burgess: “I just don’t want to be compelled to fund them.

            Who is forcing you. I suppose you also feel compelled to use/keep a car just so that you can have a rant against the VED too?!

            But on second thoughts, perhaps you do have a point, can someone outlaw TV advertising (commercials), I don’t care what Sky show or report, I’m just feed up with having to fund ITV and Sky via by retail purchases, make all channels subscription and ban them from selling air time to commercials. People can’t even escape doing so should they be blind and not have a TV set…

  3. alan jutson
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    What I find amazing is that so few Mp’s seem to recognise that they are going to be surplus to requirements in a few years time if we continue down the present road

    What is the point of being an MP if you cannot do the most basic of tasks in choosing how the country is run, and the setting of tax rates, along with a host of other controls being made by outside sources.

    Whilst it must be so frustrating, keep up the good work !

  4. NickW
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    We have now seen that the campaigning for an EU referendum has already begun.

    Ken Clarke got his orders at the Bilderburg conference and has already given his rather individual view of our relationship with Europe; all the useful idiots in the media have also been primed by the EU to begin their treacherous work which has now started.

    The problem is, that as has been pointed out elsewhere, the “In” campaign has a simple message; “Do nothing and surrender everything to Europe”, whereas the out campaign need to answer the obvious questions as to what sort of relationship we want with Europe after we leave the EU, and how we go about getting it. This involves issues which are too complex for a referendum campaign, which leaves the “Out” campaign unable to put forward a coherent message, which will result in defeat.

    The way forward has to be to put the case for a referendum over renegotiation, because that can be won; whereas an in/out referendum may well be lost under the influence of an overwhelming tsunami of propaganda from every source that the EU can utilise.

    I am positive that every UKIP member is perfectly well aware that even if we left the EU, we would have to have agreements with Europe in a multiplicity of areas.
    Putting it another way, both UKIP and the Conservative Party want a different relationship with Europe and differ only as to how to get it.

    There is thus room for an agreement between UKIP and the Conservatives to campaign for an immediate referendum to mandate renegotiation. A referendum which the EU’s useful idiots would be hard put to oppose, and which we stand far more chance of winning than an In/Out referendum.

    • NickW
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      The proposition for the “In” campaign is actually equally complex because Europe has a dynamic which is continually drawing power away from the Sovereign States to itself.

      Questions for the “In”campaign.:

      Do you agree to more powers being given to Brussels and taken from parliament? If you don’t, how are you going to unilaterally halt the Europeanisation process?

      Are there any powers which you absolutely emphatically would not give to Brussels; if there are, what are they, and how would you stop Brussels from taking them anyway, given that we no longer have any power of veto?

      Do you recommend the dissolution of Parliament once it has relinquished all its powers and has become totally impotent?

      In fact, the “In” position is as nuanced as the “Out” and it is time it was clearly pointed out.

  5. Bob
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    294 pages in 90 minutes?

    Just over 3 pages per minute. What’s the problem?
    MEPs have to do hundreds of pages per minute.

    That’s how they manage to pass so many new rules in such a short space of time.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Sounds like they need to create a ‘cooling off’ period – in order to redraw or even withdraw – from hastily concocted legislation.

  6. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I hope 294 pages were summarised.I cannot envisage other nationalities accepting the primacy of the EU over their own and of course it must be cut down inthe bud rather than allowing unseen roots to grow.
    If all fails we can eventually still get out , but at what cost?

    • Peter Davies
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      What cost? Given that we have a circa £50BN PA trade deficit with the EU, I think it is a safe presumption that we should only need a free trade agreement without tariffs. Based on this there may be a certain number of lost Euro related clearing finance jobs but the net effect should be far more positive with the lighter red tape and overheads – I would rather see companies providing pensions for their workers rather than all the other pointless rubbish they have to comply with courtesy of EU directives.

      I have heard it said about Car exports to the EU could be affected so some foreign companies may move. If that were true I wonder why the Ford Transit factory is locating to Turkey (a non EU member)

      As Mr Hannan in the telegraph has already alluded to, if we were not in the EU we would more than likely already have had a long standing free trade arrangement with the likes of the US and many other countries by now – so this argument is clutching at straws as well.

      The case for leaving seems stronger the more you look into it. Lets hope for some honesty from the media on this matter and half the HOC wakes up and gets a grip.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        The EU won’t give the UK a trade agreement without tariffs simple because we have a trade deficit with them. After all the UK has trade deficits with other non-EU countries yet none of these countries want to give the UK a tariff free trade agreement.

        Given that the loss of EU laws will mean fewer rights for employees I doubt that many people will be in favour of removing them in exchange for nothing.

        Given that the UK is free to negotiate trade agreements (we negotiated one with China a few years ago) it’s likely that the UK doesn’t have a free trade agreement with the USA because it won’t benefit the USA enough.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          As I recall, two EU Commissioners and one British Prime Minister have contradicted what you’ve said in your first paragraph.

        • Peter Davies
          Posted June 22, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Nonsense

          Norway and Switzerland don’t have tariffs and quotas so you are talking complete garbage as usual uni. Germany will not want their Audis and VWs taxed given that the UK is their biggest export market in the EU.

          Also had we been out of the EU we probably would have had a free trade agreement with the USA long ago given that the mutual interests and long standing ties we have – to say it would not interest them is nonsense.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      At what cost? No cost. Just savings. And the ability to set our economy and society free.

  7. GeoffM
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Article 50
    Print
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    1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

    3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

    4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

    From the following:- http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-european-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

    Reply Indeed, but to activate that you first need to elect a UK Parliament that wants to do that.

  8. Sean O'Hare
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Bill Cash, the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, highlighted how the EU is now seeking to assert the primacy of the European Parliament over the UK and other national Parliaments.

    May I refer you to the Factortame litigation which established the supremacy of EU law way back in 1991/2.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factortame

    …and the people, where sovereignty must ultimately lie, weren’t even asked whether that was acceptable.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Factortame had no definitive conclusion, insofar as the Thatcher government caved in and got the offending law repealed to avoid any continuation of legal debate over the question of primacy.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Given that the UK had no prospect of winning Factortame the conclusion is that EU law overrides UK law (officially because the UK Parliament has created a law that says it does).

        Reply: The Uk Parliament can at any time amend or repeal the European Communities Act. If it does not do so then EU law is supreme where asserted.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Not “officially” because the UK Parliament has created a law that says it does, but “actually” so; the fact is that your beloved EU law has no force in this country other than that granted to it by our sovereign national Parliament through its Acts; and it still remains open to Parliament to decide to disapply or nullify specific EU laws; moreover the highest UK courts have recognised that to be the case, with the sole proviso that Parliament must always make explicit its intention to pass UK legislation contrary to EU law.

  9. behindthefrogs
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    It is probably much more efficient for many of these controls to be administered centrally in Europe rather than in each individual country. What we need is not this continual cry of “hands off” but a campaign to stop the duplication within the UK of functions being adequately carried out by the EU This is an opportunity to reduce the number of civil servants and thus the governments deficit.

    This is the equivalent of suggesting that all these functions should be carried out by local councils. We are part of the EU and should accept that we need to conform to the rules laid down by our top level of government.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      This has always seemed a viable option to me. We could funnel all overseas aid thru’ the EU; close down DfID. Wherever the EU Overseas Action has an embassy, close down ours; reducing the Foreign Office at the same time. I am sure quite a few of the Whitehall empires could be slashed. We wouldn’t need so many MPs either.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      “This is the equivalent of suggesting that all these functions should be carried out by local councils.”

      Ah yes, fully in line with Kenneth Clarke’s expressed desire to see our sovereign national Parliament reduced to the subordinate status of a local council.

  10. Robert Taggart
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    But Blighty – according to most ‘mainstream’ politicians – needs to remain in the Single Market. To be in there and shaping the rules – requires membership of the European Union – looks like Blighty has been snookered !
    We humble electors put our faith in you Johnny, also ‘Cashy’ and UKIP !

  11. Vanessa
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Now the Lisbon Treaty (Constitution) is in force this is a one way journey. They want a “Country” called Europe populated with “Europeans” (think Soviet communism). Political Correctness was dreamt up by Soviet Communism as a form of “gulag” to control the way we talk and think. We will join the Euro and we will drive on the right hand side of the road in 20 years time if we continue to pay for membership.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      @Vanessa: “Now the Lisbon Treaty (Constitution) is in force this is a one way journey. They want a “Country” called Europe populated with “Europeans” (think Soviet communism). [..//..]

      Oh dear Vanessa, and you were doing so well until you decided to add those last three words, of course you might be right, or the eurocrats might actually be thinking along the lines of a USoE similar to that of the USA. Even the mighty USoA had many birth pains, slavery and its after effects only being one. Once again, anything the right-wing don’t like gets the think USSR treatment, which in turn (away from the dogmatic right-wing vote does nothing but loose the argument.

      • APL
        Posted June 23, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “eurocrats might actually be thinking along the lines of a USoE similar to that of the USA.”

        If that were true, the solution would be to adopt the US constitution, set up the supreme court of Europe. And allow the constituent countries to accede voluntarily.

        But it isn’t true, and they have preferred deception and slieght of hand – at least our politicians in this country have.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          @APL: Another rant to nowhere from APL. 🙁

          As I understand it all member states of the EU have voluntarily joined the EEC/EC/EU and further all voluntarily ratified the Lisbon Treaty.

          Your anger should thus be directed towards the totalitarian governments/parliaments in the respective member countries, how dare they do the job they were elected to do – run their country…

          Oh and how many of the people were asked, in what became the USA, before the constitution was written and agreed to, in fact didn’t the “union” pre-date the constitution?

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    According to their pretensions, sovereignty within the EU now resides with the unelected eurofederalist lawyers on the EU’s Court of Justice, who under the EU treaties have the final word on the interpretation of those treaties and who have repeatedly shown that they have few scruples about giving them whatever contorted interpretation they think will be most effective for the promotion of “ever closer union”.

    For myself, I reject their pretensions and as in the 1644 Soldier’s Catechism:

    “I fight for the preservation of our parliament, in the being whereof (under God) consists the glory and welfare of this kingdom. If this foundation be overthrown, we shall soon be the most slavish nation in the Christian world.”

    Either you support the sovereignty of our Parliament as the central institution of our national democracy – even if many of those who have got into it betray us by denying its sovereignty – or you support the primacy of the EU and thereby make yourself an enemy of our national democracy.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Given that judges aren’t elected in the UK it’s hardly fair to criticise ECJ judges for being unelected. Also these judges are promoting an “ever closer union” because the purpose of EU law is to harmonise the legal systems of the EU states.

      Claiming that someone is an enemy of the UK for promoting the primacy of the EU without first establishing whether this is better for the UK or not just shows that your argument is based on xenophobia, rather than reason.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Judges are not elected in the UK, but MPs are, and judges in the UK will follow the will of Parliament and accept any correction to their case law by a new statute passed by Parliament; that is the distinction between sovereign power purportedly resting with persons who are unelected rather than with persons who have been put into post by the electorate and can be removed by the electorate.

        My actual claim was that anyone who supports the primacy of the EU is making himself “an enemy of our national democracy”, not “an enemy of the UK”‘; I stand by that as a self-evident truth and nothing to do with xenophobia; it is of course easily conceivable than somebody could be a patriot, and not an enemy of the UK, but simply not believe in democracy.

  13. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood ‘sought assurances’. I wonder why he bothered. We live in a democracy where no-one’s voice is heard. Not even most MPs’.

  14. Jon
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    This is the threat and war we should be fighting with all our focus. Not grandstanding about Syria. We have a huge threat to our democracy and financial well being yet media talk is of lets sort the Middle Eastern problems for them?

    We loose this financial control battle we loose including the NHS and our say at these big international meetings.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      @Jon: Why loose control of the NHS, considering that much of the EU have health care systems very similar to the NHS, indeed some EU member states have better systems – stop using silly scare stories, the only message you damage is that of the eurosceptics/phobes.

  15. Martin
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel has given President Obama a hard time over the NSA business.
    Commissioner Redding of the EU has been asking questions too.

    What have our wonderful ministers Cameron, May and Hague been doing?
    Nothing, just letting the Americans tickle their bellies. It looks the policy is to turn Britain into some sort of American offshore dependency like Guam or Puerto Rico.

    Sovereignty ?

  16. Martin Conboy
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    A simple calculation shows 294 pages in 90 minutes works out at 18.367 seconds per page. This is not enough time to even read the first paragraph out aloud, let alone debate its content. Essentially all this new law is just being shovelled straight onto our statute without any form of review or evaluation worthy of the name. And we dont even know the law is there; as it isnt read out it wont be in Hansard for example.
    The conclusion is stark: given that the body with leglislative inituitive, the European Commission, is unelected and given that its output goes straight onto our statute without review, therefore: we are no longer a functioning democracy any more.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Firstly anything created by the Commission had to be approved by the European Parliament.

      Secondly it was the Government who decided how long Parliament had to debate this document, not the EU.

      Thirdly problems with the UK’s democracy aren’t always caused by the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Your first sentence is factually incorrect.

  17. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    If we want to be free of federalism, all we have to do is repeal the Acts of Accession to those treaties. We declare our intention in our 2015 manifesto and on day one of taking office just do it. We are only enslaved because we allow ourselves to be enslaved. We need to reassert that no treaty is for ever.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Ken Clarke should be consigned to the back benches . Cameron made a ghastly mistake by featuring him in the G8 summit . A Minister without Portfolio is just nuisance value ; his nose is out of joint and he is glad to grasp any opportunity . Norman Tebbitt today made it quite clear that the sooner he is pushed into oblivion the better .

    • Jerry
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      @Bert Young: It would not surprise me if many say the similar sorts of things about Lord Tebbitt, current and past political career…

  19. James Reade
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Your final sentence sums everything up:

    “It is becoming more difficult to keep control of UK matters within the UK, given the all embracing plans and the relentless pressures, often mounted under cover of the so called single market.”

    So I have a question for you. You would take us out of this single market and thus force upon companies based in the UK non-trivial additional costs (much as yes indeed Germany would continue to trade with us as you always point out, but additional costs do matter to the bottom line, as you would know from your extensive business experience, and hence volumes of trade would be affected).

    But would you once outside enact a policy of no trade barriers on goods and services we import into the UK? If not, why not?

    Reply If we were outside the single market but in a trade arrangement with the rest of the EU EU requirements would still apply on our exports to the EU just as US rules apply to our exports to the US but we would be free to adopt different rules for trade with n on EU countries and could negotiate our own deal with the EU based on their need and wish to sell to us.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 21, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

      James, I trust you are aware that the Single Market was fully formed in 1987, when the Single European Act was passed. Everything since then has been dirigiste federalism that has slowly gummed up the works.

      You should have read Denis Cooper’s blog of a few weeks back in which he said how many items were within the EU’s area of competence after each treaty was passed. It was 50 items in total after the Single European Act, 218 items in total after Lisbon.

      Reply The so called “single market ” programme took until 1992 to complete and was around 300 measures from memory. Since then there have been very many additional “single market” measures.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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