For many readers of this blog the new relationship wanted with the EU is very simple – the same relationship as all other independent countries around the world have with the EU today. Many now just want us to leave.
The Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, currently accounting for around half the votes in polls want no renegotiation. They think the current relationship is just fine. Most Labour and Lib Dem MPs failed to vote for the Referendum Bill put through the Commons by the Conservativve MP Mr Wharton. Their leaderships refuse to offer either a new relationship or a referendum on our current arrangements.
The Conservatives have set out a clear policy of negotiate and decide. Many fear they would not be able to get much improvement in our current terms. If that is the case then the country can simply vote to leave. If by any chance a good deal was on offer, then the c0untry could vote to accept it. The most important thing is that whatever is done is endorsed by the British people in a special vote.
The issue arises, what kind of renegotation would a Conservative government undertake? The leadership has recently made clear it would entail taking back control of our borders and benefit system. It would also entail removing the impulse to ever closer union from the different Treaty the UK was prepared to sign. That is progress. Added to it, many as a minimum would want the proposal of the European Scrutiny Committee that we should have a Parliamentary procedure to amend or disapply any European rule or law that does not meet with the approval of the UK Parliament. That way UK Parliamentary sovereignty can be re-established, and one Parliament could no longer bind a successor by consenting to an EU measure.
In recent weeks 3 senior Judges have made clear their concerns about the way the European Court of Human Rights are seeking to overrule Parliamentary supremacy in a number of important areas. This could be significant too, as we seek to find a way at last to give the British people a new relationship and a proper say in how they are governed. It is interesting that some Judges think the ECHR is gping too far in asserting jurisdiction, and removing the old certainty where Parliament passed a law and our judges interpret it. This could lead on to similar worries about ECJ matters, especially as the European Court is seeking to make human rights matters for them as well.