You cannot have two sovereigns

The EEC, which has evolved into the EU, was introduced by people who claimed we could “pool” our sovereignty. This they said would make us more powerful. I have often written and spoken about the dangers of confusing power with sovereignty. Today I want to explain why you can only have one sovereign. It is time for the UK to choose whether it wishes to enjoy self government through the UK Parliament or whether it does now wish to be governed by the EU as Commissioner Reding and others have asserted.

The experiment with twin sovereigns or shared or pooled sovereignty is breaking down from both sides. UK democrats are increasingly frustrated at a range of decisions made for us by the EU. A majority in the UK wants self government so we can make our own decisions about benefits, energy, welfare and borders amongst others. At the same time the federalists, mainly in the Brussels government but also among some of the other member states, are frustrated that the UK is still a “difficult” partner, querying too many EU decisions, seeking to slow down the necessary march to more federal power and seeking to prevent more unanimous and majority decisions at the EU level.

So called pooled sovereignty or shared power only works when both so called sovereigns agree on strategy and tactics. In the EU that means the junior members, the national governments, have to accept the view of the senior member, the EU, that on the big calls the EU is in charge. The EU for example settles budget deficit levels, imposes VAT as a general EU tax with control over the level of the imposition, controls borders and now imposes a common Convention of Human rights. The member states have to go along with a continuous process of more and more decisions and power going to Brussels. In other words, EU sovereignty is not pooled or shared. The ultimate sovereign – that means the only sovereign- in the EU model is the EU. This will become increasingly apparent as the EU completes the process of expanding the range of its activities and the extent of its powers through its vast legislative programme.

Mr Justice Mostyn has recently set out how the EU sovereign now overrules the UK Parliament. Parliament under a pro EU Labour government decided that some elements of the EU Convention on Human Rights were unsuitable for the UK and left them out of the UK legislation. The Labour government thought they had secured a Lisbon settlement that avoided the EU Convention becoming UK law. However, the senior Judge now concludes “it would seem that the much wider Charter of Human Rights is now part of our domestic law”. Something we did not want is now directly acting despite Parliament’s wishes.

On 20 November 2013 The European Scrutiny Committee of Parliament under the tenacious chairmanship of Mr William Cash produced a most important unanimous report. They concluded:

“Not only do we recommend a strengthening of the scrutiny reserve, we conclude that now is the time to propose the introduction of a form of national veto over EU legislative proposals, and then to explore the mechanics of disapplication of parts of existing EU obligations, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972″

This conclusion is necessary and wise. It is directly in line with the promise made in the July 1971 White Paper on our membership of the EEC. In that again the government wisely said:

“All countries concerned recognise that an attempt to impose a majority view in a case where one or more members considered their vital national interests to be at stake would imperil the very fabric of the community”

They understood then that you cannot have two sovereigns. They also understood that democratic legitimacy and ultimate power had to rest with the member states. Tomorrow I will look at how the UK Parliament could reassert this essential truth.

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114 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    It is absolutely vital that the aims and purposes of the EU Commissioners are made crystal clear to our country.

    Please – more Commissioners on Newsnight, on the Today Programme and on the midday politics programmes, being treated politely and asked, without interruption or raised eyebrows, what they would like Europe to turn into. No English Europhiles bending their words into meretricious statements of what they themselves would like Europe to turn into. No clever political pundits who hope against hope that the European Commissioners are really English underneath.

    We need the stark truth: they are working relentlessly towards more Europe over a tangle of broken promises. This should be a constant drumbeat: we are losing our nation and it is not being reported.

    This is urgent: before the EU elections in May.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Mike

      I am with you, but the whole point of the present EU policy is stealth and creep over many years, so you are unlikely to get what you, or many of us would want in the way of information.

      But worth a try.

      Past form suggests.
      Issue just one directive at a time, then wait, then issue another, with all the little bits interlinked, that is why we have new policies and new treaties only every few years, thus each government in each country only has to give way slightly each time between elections.

      Thus the master plan evolves.

      • Nikc
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Like the lastest wheeze. 10% tax on all EU bank accounts to try and stop the rot in the Eurozone.

        Meanwhile Holland isn’t interested in solving a thing. All his energies are going into keeping his mistresses happy. Just one example of why its politicians that are the problem not the solution

        Nick

        • bigneil
          Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          10% to start with – then what ?? -bleed everyone dry -just to feed the monster.

      • Timaction
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        FCO 1971-30/1048. Ever closer union by stealthy incremental treaty change and directives to keep the sheeple in the dark until its too late. Betrayal by ALL the legacy Parties, LibLabCon ever since. Watch their actions, not words. Never do they act in the British interest, just the EU’s and their own.
        If we all keep voting the same don’t expect a different outcome!! We can see the changes before our very eyes. Housing crisis? No. Immigration crisis to remove our British identity. Ever shrinking health, housing, education and other public services. The cake just keeps getting divided amongst ever larger numbers.
        The last patriot in charge was Mrs Thatcher and they then plotted her removal. No coincidence that those plotters are now close advisers in Cameron’s current circle. Clarke, Patten, Heseltine, Major etc. Enough said. Judge him by his company. Do you really think he’s a EU sceptic!!

        • uanime5
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          Ever closer union by stealthy incremental treaty change and directives to keep the sheeple in the dark until its too late.

          How exactly is this stealthy? It’s obvious that the treaties giving the EU more power are for the purpose of an ever closer union. The Treaty of Rome even calls for an ever closer union.

          • Timaction
            Posted January 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            Unanime5 more federal fiction than fact as usual. A history lesson for lefties:
            The Constitution was voted against in Holland, France and Ireland. We were promised a referendum by Labour and then told it wasn’t needed as the Constitution was dropped and the treaty was only a tidying up exercise, nothing more. The Constitution morphed into the Lisbon Treaty and therefore those that were given a vote were not allowed to vote again and Ireland were told by blackmail to keep voting until they got it right. EU dictatorship in action. The federalist LibLabCons have lied and cheated about the EU for 40 years as the above link shows. Go read it and weep or in your case socialists will laugh at the sheeple. That’s why you federalists can no longer be trusted as most people do not have the time to read the small print and once trusted their politicians. No more. The times are a changing hence the current panic as elections are coming and the lies are out. The renegotiation is not possible under the Treaties and ruled out by our President and others. The latest ruse about reinstating Parliamentary sovereignty is a non starter and against the very Treaties that LibLabCon’s signed us up for! It all smacks of desperation as the patriotic party gathers steam and puts the information out there.

    • David Andrews
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Dream on!

      We are unlikely to get much, if any, of this from the current Establishment. Apart from a minority of Conservative MPs, like JR, the majority of MPs, members of the House of Lords and the senior civil service are committed to the course of absoption into ever closer union and its logical outcome the USE. It has been, and will continue to be a long drawn sell out of our national sovereignty.

      It will only be stopped in its tracks by a political earthquake. That will only come about through the voting booth. Protest votes will not be enough. What will be needed are punishment votes where the incumbents are voted out of office.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Mike – as a pro EU person this is exactly what we should have. Instead of having a EU commission seen as far away and remote their views should be heard on a daily basis so that the people here can be properly informed and make up their own minds. The ignorance of the British people (this blog aside of course) of EU institutions is breathtaking. Makes me think there is a conspiracy of silence amongst the two main parties.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Please – more Commissioners on Newsnight, on the Today Programme and on the midday politics programmes, being treated politely and asked, without interruption or raised eyebrows, what they would like Europe to turn into.

      There are 28 commissioners, one per member state. So unless you can get the UK commissioner to go on any of these programmes if won’t be possible to have more commissioners on them.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Are you saying the other 27 won’t speak to us Uni?
        Are they just far too busy and important people troughing all over Europe to come here and give their views to us peasants?

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    As far as I’m concerned there is only one sovereign in the United Kingdom and that is Her Majesty the Queen.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I remain mystified why she was “allowed” to sign the various Treaties diluting the Monarch’s Sovereignty by her constitutional advisers, which I would guess she has readily to hand.

      • APL
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        A. Sedgwick: ” Monarch’s Sovereignty by her constitutional advisers ”

        The Monarch’s constitutional advisers include members of the Privy Council. That is people such as; Peter Mandelson ( paid EU schill ), Neil Kinnock ( paid EU schill ), Chris Patten ( paid EU schill ), Ken Clarke ( pro bono EU schill) Denis MacShane* ( pro bono EU schill ) Tony Blair ( (words left out ed) and probono EU schill ) etc,.

        So it’s hardly surprising Her Majesty has made some poor decisions.

        *resigned: (convicted and sent to prison ed).

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Considering her Coronation Oath I think that went by the board in 1973 when she gave assent to the European Communities Act. Also since Maastricht she has been a citizen of the EU. How can you be a sovereign and a citizen at the same time?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Sean–If memory serves, our wonderful FCO came up with a convoluted standard form of words on this which if one stood on one’s head could be read as trying repeat trying to explain this away. Of course the FCO went native decades ago and it was just two-faced politician-speak.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Gawd bless ‘er!

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      But she too has allowed her government give these powers away without obtaining the people’s informed consent.

  3. Arschloch
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    OK lets get out of the EU but will it make things better after we have gone? I doubt so because the neo-liberal economic agenda will still be with us. It is not the EU who tells us to leave our borders open to non EU migrants. It is not the EU who sent us of to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not the EU who forced to have a load of toothless regulators who monitor effective cartels amongst the utilities. The UK is known as “treasure island” i.e. easy money now sees Wessex Water being owned by Malaysians. The UK’s mainly non contrib system of benefits was not devised in Brussels either. You could go on and on and once we get out you will find that the EU was the last of our problems.

    John in light of yesterday’s US dole figs perhaps you could do another Pravda piece on the “recovery”? The unemployment rate only went down because the number of workers dropped to a level last seen in 1978. While 2013 saw fewer jobs created than in 2012 and most of them were of the part time low wage variety. With a shrinking low wage workforce how can the US government pay for itself without more printing with such a poor tax base and where is the demand going to come from to buy UK exports for example?

    • acorn
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Imagine if we had no connection with the EU at all, as if it had never existed. Would I trust the current government front bench and behind it, the array of neo-liberals including a few neo-cons, to have my (that is the other 99% of us) interest at heart.

      Why do they not want the 99% to have the protection of a supra-national organisation like the ECHR or the ECJ? Separate organisations that have common membership that, for some reason, appear to be at odds with the current government’s vision of the UK as Goldmansachsland; the ultimate tax haven for global financial fraudsters.

      There is a strong correlation between social trust and institutional trust. Persistently low levels of institutional trust may be explained by the publicly perceived low performance of institutions, resulting from their politicisation, and that this may also indirectly trigger low levels of social trust and diminishing of social capital. Hence, projects like HS2; Universal Benefit and the NHS, will be automatically derided, particularly through a similarly distrusted media.
      In a land that has no codified constitution that can be protected by a Supreme Court and, if necessary, a Supra-National Supreme Court, the law is whatever the government of the day says it is. If it’s not, it will be by close of parliament tomorrow. Discuss.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        The law is not what the government says it is, the law is what Parliament says it is and the government is subject to that law; if you’re unhappy with the law you need to think about electing different MPs.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          MPs are largely chosen by political parties not the electorate and anyway, after elected, they so often do the opposite of what they promised before.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            That has been the way of it, and if you vote for the candidates put up by parties whose leaders do not believe that we should be a self-governing country then of course you will end with MPs who lack the necessary level of interest in ensuring that the country is being governed properly; there has even been a suggestion that MPs fiddled their expenses because they had become “bored”.

          • APL
            Posted January 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Denis Cooper: “there has even been a suggestion that MPs fiddled their expenses because they had become “bored”.”

            Nah! They are just crooked.

            As my teacher of old would say as the cane swished down, ‘The devil finds work for idle hands’!

      • Arschloch
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        If you take a look at organisations like the Henry Jackson Society, apart from former heads of MI6, as you would expect in a club for neo-cons, you would be surprised at the number of Labour MPs that are signed up to it too. That is how entrenched the consensus is on whats Britain’s place in the world is and thats why we got dragged into Iraq and Afghanistan and nearly into Syria too.

        The ECHR is a joke organisation that we can do without. All of these decisions about foreign born crooks being “entitled to a family life” which stops them being deported are being determined by judges from places like Azerbaijan. How does Nick Clegg & Cherie validate Azerbaijan as being part of Europe in the first place? (words left out ed) Have they read the Amnesty Int reports on the chance of getting a fair trial in places like Azerbaijan in the first place? Do they realise that Daddy Aliyev who before handing over power to his son used to be head of the Soviet KGB? So we have “jurists” from places like Azerbaijan determining what happens in true liberal democracies like the UK. Despite all the expensive education people like Nick are fundamentally thick and the tragedy is that they have no intention of leaving the ECHR because “its a guarantee of our civil liberties”.

        http://henryjacksonsociety.org/people/council-members/

        • uanime5
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          How does Nick Clegg & Cherie validate Azerbaijan as being part of Europe in the first place?

          One of the borders between Europe and Asia is the Caucasus Mountains, so Azerbaijan and Georgia are on the borders of Europe and Asia.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I cannot help but think Cameron was the last chance to escape. His clear ratting on his cast iron promise, his endless deception of the voters, his stupidity in throwing of the last election and his say one thing do the complete opposite, surely now means the die is finally cast.

    Even in the highly unlikely event of a Tory majority in 2015 under Cameron, nothing would change. He would surely rat yet gain or just hold a distorted (with some fig leaf EU concessions) with BBC propaganda and scare tactics to the fore. The concessions would later be over ruled by some EU court as usual.

    It is clearly a war without violence, the UK politicians have merely given the country away for a bag of worthless beans. It was never theirs to give. So many politician Clegg as a prime example seem to think they already are EU politicians driving the foolish dream of an undemocratic, socialist USE to the end.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      You didn’t mention absurd employment laws, fake green, IHT, the feckless, regulations, benefits, taxes or mythical ‘sensible’ countries all involved in conspiracy theory with the BBC in this mindless rant. Ah! The BBC are there I should have guessed. would you say that in some way your posts are biased or just deluded?

      • Edward2
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        If you thinks so Baz, then we must all agree, because as you keep telling us only you can be right.

        • Arschloch
          Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          No Eddie Baz is just commenting on LLs cookie cutter one size fits all comments. No matter what the subject of the day is you know what LLs response will be. It will always include “absurd employment laws, fake green, IHT, the feckless, regulations, benefits, taxes, ratting, cast iron” etc and begin with the word “indeed”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        At least you are taking note, progress is slowly being made.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          Indeed LL
          It takes repetition to counter the endless propagandaof the left much of it failing as soon as scrutiny is applied.
          Keep up the good work.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 13, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            Like cutting housing benefits for the under 25′ and the bedroom tax whilst handing millionaires and other benefit scroungers such as big business tax cuts ? This is ‘progress’. He has yet to tell us what absurd employment laws are holding back business as prime example. It’s just black propaganda (words left out ed) in support of rentier capitalism. In the real world these (people ed) would not last five minutes.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Tax cuts for millionaires is the cry.
            Well no, actually its just a reduction from 50% to 45% for those on higher rate income tax which is very different.
            And you miss out the fact that for 12 years and 11 months of the 13 years the Labour Government was in power 40% was deemed to be OK as the top rate until Gordon put it up to 50% just before the election as a tease to the incoming new Government.
            But as a result of the Coalition’s 5% reduction the “rich” are paying more in revenues to HMRC than before and the top 1% now pay 30% of all income tax.

            The discussion on all the red tape involved in starting a business, employing others and meeting all the laws, rules and regulations has been aired several times on here.
            Some easing and simplification is needed, because it is becoming a great disincentive to SME’s to take on staff.
            You should find out what you need to do to start your own business and employ others Baz.
            Its a very long list.

            Germany is used as an great example to follow by Uni and yourself with its generous approach to welfare, but in Germany you cannot leave school at 16 and do nothing.
            You either keep studying at college or get a job with training. You cannot sign on and get your pocket money paid and a flat paid for by the state.
            We should copy their approach here.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

            They still got a tax cut and the poor got a bedroom tax no matter how you spin it and to add insult got a Vat rise to. What rules and regulations are stopping recruitment specifically as you have been told of various methods of employment such as agencies, temps, short term and so on. Hire and fire without legal redress is not going to happen nor should except in right wing fantasy minds.

    • Hope
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Well said. JR’s problem is that most of us do not believe or trust Cameron, his advisors or cabinet. He was given the benefit of the doubt at the last election because we wanted Brown and Blair out, not Cameron in. Cameron has shown he is a complete waste of space and something completely different from what he portrayed himself.

      We know he does not follow the normal protocol for the introduction of law when it is against the people’s wishes ie gay marriage. Another EU demand!

      The veto that NEVER was, gave him popularity because most people thought he had imposed a veto, they did not look at the detail. He created a terrible president and never stopped any Eurozone country from using EU institutions. JR has never answered this point.

      He also allowed the Eurozone countries to circumvent the prohibition on bail outs despite previously promoting how he introduced a referendum lock! This demonstrates what a waste of space the alleged referendum lock is and how easy it is for Cameron to bypass therefore it is of no use whatsoever. To use Cameron’s words, it was a con.

      • Hope
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        DT reports how the Tories are keeping secret plan to build two garden cities and No.10 telling Boles to tone down his speeches. I think No 10. Is behind the curve once more, the public have worked it out. They can see with their own eyes the mass building on our beautiful land to cater for mass immigration. We can see the wind turbines destroying landscapes and seascapes, we read our energy bills each month and curse Cameron for gold plating the Climate Change Act that he endorsed again last week. All to help a few landowners (father in law?) and EU ideology. Cameron can agree with it, no surprise there, however the Tory supporters do not and will leave in further droves. Cameron and Osborne treat their supporters with arrogance and contempt. Either their supporters leave or they do, about time Tory MPs made a choice ASAP. Tories, AKA Osborne, plan to keep theLib Dem sweet will still leave them far too short to form a government. We have the coalition and do not like it.

    • BobE
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Unless Ukip can rise in the next year the war is lost. Cameron and crew will take there rewards in the EUSSR.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Now, lest anyone thought that Cameron’s Tories were actually remotely Tory, they are now pushing for a big increase in the minimum wage – to destroy job creation, export jobs and increase unemployment one assumes. Rather like their idiotic expensive energy greencrap. Sending exactly the wrong signal to employers and investors.

      The way to higher paid jobs is more available jobs, not fewer jobs and yet more idiotic employment laws. One does not lift yourself off the floor by pulling on your shoe laces nor by passing daft laws saying that the laws of gravity or economics are repealed.

      • Bazman
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Same old same old. Minimum wage destroys jobs. How many did it destroy last time after the rights predictions of nothing less than Armageddon?
        Part of their religious beliefs and you know what? your church is wrong.
        The way to higher paid jobs is more available jobs, not fewer jobs and yet more idiotic employment laws?
        More available jobs paying poverty wages is no use to anyone except the employers. I challenge you yet again on which employment laws are idiotic and how there is more? Is the state to further subsides these none jobs? If you cannot answer why do you continue to write this drivel in righty Fox News brainwashed type way? Do you own the facts?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Lets fix the minimum wage at £1M and see how many jobs it destroys then.

          In practice this would make almost everyone have to become self employed and so might actually be a good thing as they might start to think like business people.

          • Bazman
            Posted January 12, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            Interesting to see you are against the minimum wage, but also against immigration of workers very willing to work below these rates. How do you square that one off? You don’t is the answer! Its just crackpot righty think wishy washy Delingpole nonsense. The minimum wage last time saw a rise in jobs a point you cannot believe as it goes against your right wing delusions, but true none the less. You need to answer at least some of the questions if not only to yourself.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Now, lest anyone thought that Cameron’s Tories were actually remotely Tory, they are now pushing for a big increase in the minimum wage – to destroy job creation, export jobs and increase unemployment one assumes.

        In the USA they found that states that have higher than average minimum wages tend to have lower levels of unemployment than those with lower minimum wages. The reason seems to be that if people have more money they’ll spend it in the economy, which creates more jobs. That’s why in 2005 Walmart called for the minimum wage to be raised.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/wal-mart-holds-back-on-minimum-wage-proposal—so-far/2013/02/21/2349a470-7c46-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html

        • Edward2
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          So the answer to all our economic problems must be to increase the minimum wage to say £15 per hour and we will all be rich.
          I can see a nobel prize coming your way for this Uni.
          Another similar idea could be to make the working week a maximum of 25 hours so that employers have to take on more staff which would eliminate unemployment as well.

  5. Mark B
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    “Not only do we recommend a strengthening of the scrutiny reserve, we conclude that now is the time to propose the introduction of a form of national veto over EU legislative proposals . . . ”

    I heard that both Caroline Flint MP (Labour) and Kenneth Clarke MP (Conservative) both charged with reading the Lisbon and Maastricht Treaties failed to do so. If this is the level of ‘scrutiny’ that you allude to, no wounder we are, where we are.

    Also, EU legislation comes in the form of Statutory Instruments that do not pass through Parliament, is this to be changed ? If not, why not ?

    The Prime Minister, it is said, can now sign and ratify any Treaty without the consent of Parliament. If so, how can Parliament first scrutinize and accept on behalf of their constituencies changes to their laws and way of life. This not being democracy but an elected dictatorship.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      “EU legislation comes in the form of Statutory Instruments …”

      In my reply to margaret brandreth-j below I detailed the different kinds of EU legislation; of which the most numerous are Regulations, which are “directly applicable” and immediately become law in this country the moment they are made in Brussels, without our Parliament having to lift a finger ; that’s why the European Scrutiny Committee is right to talk about “disapplication”.

      As far as the domestic implementation of EU law is concerned, here is a Written Answer given by the then Europe Minister and now convicted fraudster Denis MacShane in 2002:

      “It would entail disproportionate cost to research and compile the number of legislative measures enacted each year in the UK directly implementing EC legislation.

      The picture is complicated. Some EC measures are directly applicable in the member states. Others require incorporation into national law. This is sometimes done by legislation, but on other occasions by administrative means. In yet other situations, domestic legislation which is being amended for other purposes, may also incorporate changes to reflect EU directives. This makes it extremely difficult to determine how many legislative measures have been introduced in the UK as a result of EC measures.”

      But that didn’t stop him later making the false claim that only 9% of our new laws came from the EU, a gross underestimate which was arrived at by looking at the numbers of Statutory Instruments, secondary legislation, required to implement EU laws while ignoring the mass of EU Regulations which required no domestic legislation of any kind to take effect in our country.

      • Hope
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        What do you expect from a (such a person ed)? Harman gave him a character reference, this says all you want to know about the Labour Party. Time for Labour supporters to vote UKIP as well.

    • lifelogic
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Caroline Flint MP (Labour) and Kenneth Clarke MP – who on earth selects candidate like these and why do the voters ever elect them when they show such clear contempt for their responsibilities. Yet still Cameron employs him.

      • Hope
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        And falls asleep on the job. But he appears to be the EU watchdog to make sure they do not go off message and corrects/contradicts Cameron if he slightly goes AWOL on the EU project.. Don’t forget Cameron also commissioned former Labour ministers for key policy issues rather than use his own colleagues ie Milburn on social policy etc. Heseltine is an adviser and still wants us in the. euro! You would have thought the Tory MPs might have joined up the dots by now.

        • APL
          Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          Hope: “But he appears to be the EU watchdog ”

          Clarke is the equivalent of the post war MAD doctrine. If the Tory party moves slightly to the right, Ken Clarke starts ticking. No one doubts his willingness to detonate in the middle of the Tory party and send the whole edifice to kingdom come.

          He probably knows where a lot of bodies are buried too. Which would explain why many folk who you’d think would want to expose the (man ed) for what he is, don’t.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      “The Prime Minister, it is said, can now sign and ratify any Treaty without the consent of Parliament.”

      Before the Lisbon Treaty came into force a government minister, not necessarily the Prime Minister, could be empowered by the Queen to act her plenipotentiary and sign an EU treaty as an exercise of her Royal Prerogative, but the government could not deposit a final instrument of ratification of the treaty unless it had been approved by an Act of Parliament.

      And that is still true for all the procedures available for amending the EU treaties except one, and that is the simplified revision procedure in Article 48(7) TEU on page 43 here:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0013:0046:EN:PDF

      where tacit approval from all national parliaments is considered sufficient:

      “Any initiative taken by the European Council on the basis of the first or the second subparagraph shall be notified to the national Parliaments. If a national Parliament makes known its opposition within six months of the date of such notification, the decision referred to in the first or the second subparagraph shall not be adopted. In the absence of opposition, the European Council may adopt the decision.”

  6. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Could you let us know tomorrow why, given your support of the nation state, the self determination of peoples and self government, you think it is wrong for the people of England to have their own separately elected parliament. And why it is right for other nations to have them.

    • Old Albion
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I would be interested to read the response to that.

    • JoolsB
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Prang Wizard. It seems it’s okay for the rest of the (Un) United Kingdom and western world to have a voice and self determination but when it comes to England, our self-serving politicians would rather ignore the greatest democratic deficit of all rather than address the English Question. They just make sure the E word is never mentioned in their misguided belief that the English won’t notice the rotten deal they are getting post devolution. Cameron has no problems preaching the right to self determination for the rest of the world including some far off islands in the Atlantic but when it comes to democracy in his own back year – forget it. This from a Conservative PM and Conservative party who would not exist if it were not for England!

      • JoolsB
        Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        That should say in Cameron’s own backyard, not back year.

  7. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    We don’t hear much about the European Scrutiny Committee; perhaps we should.I thought we already had veto over legislative proposals. I wonder which obligations he had in mind. The mechanics of this has been discussed widely by a few of the bloggers here who understand these processes far in advance of myself and of course yourself.
    Perhaps they ought to have another round of scrutinising exit laws.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      “I thought we already had veto over legislative proposals.”

      You’re not alone in that kind of misconception, indeed I recall a few years ago when somebody who was a secondary school teacher was even arguing that there was a lot of unnecessary fuss because everything from the EU was only advisory and we didn’t have to accept any of it if we didn’t want to …

      There are Recommendations and Opinions which have no legal force, although they may still strongly influence government policy, but Regulations, Directives and Decisions are legally binding under Article 288 TFEU starting on page 171 here:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF

      and thanks to successive amending treaties – Single European Act, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, Lisbon – we no longer have a veto over most of them.

  8. Iain Gill
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I agree John.

    Presentation could probably be improved by using some of the words the Americans use, e.g. about sovereignty being vested with the people of the country etc.

    Indeed a good April fool joke would be to draft a spoof “declaration of independence” for the UK loosely based on the US one.

    • APL
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill: “Indeed a good April fool joke would be to draft a spoof “declaration of independence” for the UK loosely based on the US one.”

      Since the US government no longer uses their constitution, and the UK government no longer adheres to the restraints of our constitution, I have often thought we could adopt their founding constitution and start from scratch.

  9. Iain Moore
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    It is not ‘pooling sovereignty’ as the EU fanatics seek to spin it. It is disenfranchising us. For while we were enfranchised group by group, with young women finally getting the vote in 1928, our fully enfranchised democracy only last 45 years, before we were disenfranchised policy area by policy area, starting with the EEC’s fishing and agriculture and getting pretty much everything else with Lisbon.

    Part of the reason the political class are held in so much contempt is that they have given away so much sovereignty they are now powerless to act in the interest of the British people, in fact they are no longer our representatives, but custodians of EU treaties, there to defend those treaties to the British people, regardless of whether they are damaging to British peoples interests.

  10. Douglas Carter
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    To a large sector of the Party Political and administrative Westminster tribe, the EU has formed a wholly advantageous carapace under which to coalesce unpopular policy which cannot be unpicked.

    No matter whether we have the theory of Parliamentary sovereignty, we have a stitch-up by any other name which denies the ability of the electorate to have their MPs overturn policy under the catch-all ‘It’s Yer’p, innit guv? There’s nuffink we can do abaaah’t it’.

    We also hear that European articles make life that much easier for our administrative staff in – for example – the Civil Service.

    Once upon a time that Civil Service in smaller numbers in alliance with Parliament was perfectly capable of conducting communications and tricky, delicate diplomacy with several tens of nations simultaneously. The idea we should be in the EU because it makes things easier for the CS and for Parliament alike is nonsense. International diplomacy, Treaty-brokering and the ability for Parliament to divest itself of obligation and competence are not factors of the world which have a place being ‘easy’. These things should be more difficult than drawing a broken tooth from a hyperactive Rhino with polystyrene tooth extractors. In particular where it comes to a process which sees the British electorate in possession of a weaker mandate to hand to their respective MP election after election.

  11. ian wragg
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    So the unelected Lords on the EU payroll don’t think it a good idea for the plebs to have a vote on the EU. We are all illiterate scum there to bend to the will of our masters.
    Insurrection will follow if these megalomaniacs are not brought to heel. Watching Mandelson and his cronies yesterday made me want to vomit. The so called “entitled to rule” mob had better w2atch out as (a difficult political ed) end may be awaiting them.
    yet John you still think Cameron will call a referendum. He would rather lose the election than do it.

    Reply Mr Cameron will hold a referendum in 2017 if he has a Conservative majority and is PM.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Couple of big ifs there

  12. Andyvan
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I’d say that there are quite a few people frustrated at all levels of government whether it is located in Brussels or Westminster. This is not surprising as every single project that government attempts fails utterly and usually results in the exact opposite of the desired result. The welfare state has given us a permanent underclass of unemployed, the NHS has given us poor, if not life threatening, health care at immense cost, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have given us legions of extremists popping up across the world at immense cost, the EU has given us mass unemployment, ridiculous regulations and never ending costs. State education has given us school leavers that don’t understand the world they live in and can barely speak intelligibly. The minimum wage has given us more unemployment, central banks have given us inflation and interest rate scandals, bank regulation has given us unpunished criminality on a huge scale, housing market interference has given us very highly priced houses that cause debt servitude for millions. The list just goes on and on. The main advantage of having the governing elite in Westminster rather than Brussels is their names are easier to spell and one day they’ll be easier for the mob to find.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      The minimum wage has given us more unemployment? Employment rates have risen since the minimum wage was introduced. Are we to compete with foreigners living five to a room/car on wages? No British person would work for these rates and quite rightly too. As for the NHS and the welfare state you need to tell us how millions would pay for healthcare/welfare/housing especially without a minimum wage? I put it to you that you think they should just go away? However facts are not what you are about are they?

    • uanime5
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      The welfare state has given us a permanent underclass of unemployed

      Actually that’s due to the lack of jobs available.

      the NHS has given us poor, if not life threatening, health care at immense cost

      Actually by comparison to other OECD countries our costs are much lower, while our levels of treatment are similar to other countries.

      the EU has given us mass unemployment

      I’d say that was more due to selling our industries to foreign companies and outsourcing.

      State education has given us school leavers that don’t understand the world they live in and can barely speak intelligibly.

      Perhaps the politicians should have created a more rigorous curriculum.

      The minimum wage has given us more unemployment

      Then why has the number of people in employment increased, even though the minimum wage has constantly increased?

      housing market interference has given us very highly priced houses that cause debt servitude for millions

      I’d say that’s more to do with BTL landlords and foreign businesspeople reducing the number of houses available.

  13. Atlas
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Did Ted Heath actually realise where things would end up?

    Was he a fool or a knave?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      I think Ted Heath was misguided fool, but I do not think he foresaw quite how disastrous and damaging the EU structures would become easily. I think he acted in what he foolishly (but genuinely) thought was best for the country.

      This is far more alas than can be said for Cameron, who is surely just a career politician of the very worst type with no conviction nor belief nor honesty.

      Rational people like Mr E Powell did foresee this, even at this stage. As a teenager I found him far more convincing than Heath and his idiotic prices and incomes policy. Cameron has similar daft ideas as we have seen on gender insurance, pensions, energy, interest rates, minimum wage and energy costs.

      Above all a democracy clearly need a Demos with mainly some common interests.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:02 am | Permalink

      He knew, and he was a traitor. As was all those who came after him. In my opinion of course. ;¬)

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I will go with Mark B on this rather than Lifelogic.

      • APL
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “I will go with Mark B on this rather than Lifelogic.”

        Yes.

        Did he once, ever, express regret or remorse? No.

  14. Border Boy
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Yep, I am totally onside with every aspect of this article. I look forward to tomorrow’s article as I think we need to understand what we can do to protect British interests and I don’t mean the Peter Mandelson pro consul version of government.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Biologically and sociologically having two brains to control and co-ordinate one body is physically impossible . In my consultative work experience I never found that an organisation with Joint Managing Directors was effective or , competitively , practical . For the same basic reasons the EU is impractical and doomed to fail . Democracies work from a bottom up approach ( Magna Carta ) and the sovereign state is best served when there is clear leadership advised and counselled by experience and wisdom . The electorate must decide by clear majority what their priorities are and the subsequent dealings must be publicised and scrutinised to an extent that decisions made are in accordance with the will of the public . In all these issues the EU fails and we must not be a party in encouraging the mistake .

    • uanime5
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Democracies work from a bottom up approach ( Magna Carta )

      The Magna Carta was introduced by the nobles to limit the power of the king. So it didn’t start at the bottom, it started very near the top.

      the sovereign state is best served when there is clear leadership advised and counselled by experience and wisdom

      If the EU has better leadership and counselling than the UK should we support their leadership instead?

  16. Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    It’s clear that there can only be one supreme power in a country and in a democracy it has to be an elected body and in the case of the UK, the House of Commons.

    It was clear from yesterday’s debate in the House of Lords that Europhile members such as Kinnock and Mandleson who have been part of the Brussels elite have been so brainwashed by their experience that they no longer recognise that in a democracy the people elect their representatives to pass legislation on their behalf.

    The House of Commons has passed the referendum bill unopposed because Labour and the LibDems realised that there is a majority of the population in favour of a vote. It is therefore completely unacceptable for those in the non-elected chamber to argue that membership of the EU is too important an issue for the people to be allowed to decide.

    If the Lords does prevent the bill becoming Law, David Cameron would be perfectly right to use the Parliament Act to see it onto the Statute Book. After the General Election a new House Of Commons may decide to repeal the bill but that will be up to them to decide.

    On a related topic, having read the interview with Nigel Farage in the Telegraph this morning it is perfectly obvious that he is now determined to create the conditions for a deal to be done with the Conservatives after the Euro Elections.

    UKIP members posting here, please note, it’s most significant that Nigel Farage is no longer calling for Cameron to be replaced as he has done in the past, he’s just saying that the PM needs to stop being rude about UKIP. His target is to have enough of a presence in the Commons to keep the Conservatives honest on the referendum and ensure “there will be no weaseling out.” In my view that’s exactly what we need to see happen.

    Farage is clearly looking for a free run in “two dozen” Northern Labour seats in exchange for deal, presumably not to run against Eurosceptic Conservatives elsewhere in the Country.

    All perfectly reasonable and exactly what I’ve been suggesting for months as the only way forward for those of us who desperately want to see a referendum after the General Election.

    In the longer term this is a perfectly reasonable aim because, if we are successful in holding and then winning the referendum, UKIP will no longer have a need to exist.

    All those to the right of centre could then comfortably support a Conservative group led by a new Conservative leader rather than one with such obvious liberal tendencies.

    This must be a plan that you, John, would support, at least in private.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      I don’t read that Farage interview in the way you do; and incidentally it is not open to the Prime Minister to “use the Parliament Act”, that can only be done by MPs, by the Commons passing the same Bill again and insisting that if it isn’t passed by the Lords then it will be passed anyway without their consent.

      http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/briefings/snpc-00675.pdf

      “This Standard Note sets out the procedures governing the use of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. It notes occasions when they have been used. It also reports on challenges to the validity of the Parliament Acts.”

    • uanime5
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      It was clear from yesterday’s debate in the House of Lords that Europhile members such as Kinnock and Mandleson who have been part of the Brussels elite have been so brainwashed by their experience that they no longer recognise that in a democracy the people elect their representatives to pass legislation on their behalf.

      Remind me again who elected these Lords to pass legislation on behalf of the people. If no one did this then does this mean the UK is no longer a democracy?

      It is therefore completely unacceptable for those in the non-elected chamber to argue that membership of the EU is too important an issue for the people to be allowed to decide.

      The Lords are free to support or oppose any bill they want.

      If the Lords does prevent the bill becoming Law, David Cameron would be perfectly right to use the Parliament Act to see it onto the Statute Book.

      Something he’ll have to do next year, due to how this act works.

  17. Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    It beggars belief that so many who comment on this blog continue to argue about the niceties of our relationship with Brussels and what steps we should take to ameliorate the effects on us.

    Stick to the point. Brussels is not our problem. The European Union has been quite open about the aim to form a European Nation. It has constantly repeated that aim, year after year.

    Our problem lies with British politicians who lied to get us in and continue to lie and/or prevaricate to keep us in. The come in colours of blue, red, yellow and green, though some have different colours underneath.

    They presumed to give away what does not belong to them and that is contrary to Common Law, which is binding on us all. They have presumed to give away my birthright – my right to be governed by a lawful Monarch and properly appointed Ministers, whom I and my fellow citizens can dismiss when they misbehave.

    Parliament accepting the superiority of European Union judges and legislators and imposing legislation, much of it not put before Members, is unlawful. We are a Constitutional Monarchy, governed by Queen Elizabeth II, who was crowned after her promise to govern in accordance with our Laws and Customs. Her Ministers and Judges have sworn to obey Her, but many of the current crop have broken their oath, just as many broke the rules about expenses, and have avoided the consequences.

    We need to be ruled, not by treaties signed by traitors, but by honest men and women who, themselves, are ruled by the law which is common to us all.

    John Wrake.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      and the only colour they are loyal to is the colour of the money in their pockets.

    • cornishstu
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Well said, our government and not just the current incumbent, continue to propagate the myth that the EU has some how taken a different direction to what was originally planned, when a European united states was always the objective. Likewise they take the EU directives and embellish with more draconian measures than required when it suits, then blame the nasty EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

      We need to be ruled, not by treaties signed by traitors, but by honest men and women who, themselves, are ruled by the law which is common to us all.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      Well said, John. You echo my feelings perfectly.

  18. Michael Cawood
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    In my opinion we should start by repealing the European Communities Act 1972. This would immediately wipe a huge chunk of European Laws from our Statute Book.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      No, no, no ! This is not what we should do. Whether you like it or not, and I do not, we have signed legally binding agreements. We are an hounorable people, even is we do not like what we have signed, we must do it the right way. W must first an Article 50 application to other member states giving them our notice to leave the EU and forcing them by law to renegotiate a new relationship with the UK.

      And Cameron’s fabled renegotiation plan is a fraud.

  19. Nick
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    A majority in the UK wants self government so we can make our own decisions about benefits, energy, welfare and borders amongst others

    ============

    The UK population wants that.

    However, you want something different. You want that power so you can dictate to the UK population in exactly the same was a the EU dictates now to the uk population.

    It’s just changing one dictator for another.

    e.g Referenda. We’ve politicians lying through their back teeth. The Tories could introduce a referenda now act. If the lib debs and labour vote you down, then its clear they want to dictate.

    However because you won’t introduce one, its clear Tories want to dictate too.

    There is no intention of giving the voter any say on any issue.

    Meanwhile politicans carry on lying about their 7.1 trillion debt problem that’s been hidden off the books.

    You still can’t quite get around to revealing that problem can you John? Blame people for living longer eh. That won’t work either.

    Reply On the contrary I have been quite clear that our debt is too large and has been increasing too fast and have often made recommendations to reduce spending to deal with this.

  20. lojolondon
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    We could always re-assert the death penalty for treason – ie. recognition of a higher power on earth than parliament. All Europhiles would be headed for Tower Hill, and that fat EU pension would not be much use then, would it??

    A small price to pay for the democracy that cost so many lives in Britain over the last 800 years.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      A bit of hanging and flogging is missing on this site. Well done lojo!

  21. fkc
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Mike Stallard, the power of our nation IS being drained away. Nobody seems to be standing up for our great country. Our government must be woken up to the damage already done and get us out of the EU. Do not mess arouind with changing rules .

  22. behindthefrogs
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    So to follow your example to the extreme, we should get rid of the UK parliament and give all the responsibilty to our local council? Without government interference Wokingham would still be the country town that I used to know and love. Its time we got out of being part of the UK whose government keeps interfering with matters, like housing that should be managed locally.

    We need various levels of government including the EU and the UN. What we also need is an agreed division of responsibilities, with in particular the UK government stopping interfering and adding extra cost to things that are better left to other levels of government. In particular they should stop rewriting and enhancing EU laws and dictating to local government.

    • alan jutson
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      behind the frogs

      Certainly agree with you about Government interfering with local Planning decisions.

      As you say, Wokinghan has now completely outgrown the infrastructure which serves it, and thousands more houses are yet to be built which have already been approved.

      Problem is when government allows 5 million more people to enter the country in a 10 year period, which has no spare housing capacity, then demand for more homes is inevitable. as it is for Schools medical facilities etc, etc.

      Just shows the lack of any joined up thinking through the whole Government and Local Authority system.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      If some people held your view and wanted an EU “level of government” why didn’t they say so honestly and openly and ask the rest of us whether we agreed, rather than feeding us crap about a “Common Market” to deliberately mislead us?

      We know the answer: because if that had been said openly then we would not have agreed then, and nor do I think we would agree now either.

  23. Martin Ryder
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    We can discuss this on this blog until the cows come home but it will make no difference. We can do the same on other blogs, write to the newspapers or howl at the moon, it will still make no difference.

    We can all vote UKIP in May but Mr Cameron will still not get the message. He can hear only what he wants to hear. He likes having the Commission making decisions for him; it makes no difference to him where the bureaucrats who rule our lives work. Brussels? Whitehall? It is all the same to him.

    He is not a traitor or even a fool; he just cannot see what all the fuss is about. He is an actor, quite a good one, working to a bad script.

    Mass demonstrations, day after day, in Whitehall might just impinge on his consciousness but the left-wing politicians and activists who can organise these things are not interested in the United Kingdom being free; quite the reverse in fact.

    The EU, or even the USE, will not last forever. It will collapse under its own weight of bad decisions, probably sooner, rather than later but it will cause a great deal of damage before it goes. We will just have to weather the storm.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    “… now is the time to propose the introduction of a form of national veto over EU legislative proposals, and then to explore the mechanics of disapplication of parts of existing EU obligations, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972″.

    At the time of the 1975 retrospective referendum on whether to stay in the EEC, when I regret to say I was duped into voting “yes”, there was a pledge from the government that we would always have a national veto, and as far as I am concerned the restoration of a national veto over all EU proposals would be one of the indispensable preconditions for me to support remaining in the EU.

    But in the absence of the previous eurofederalist commentary from the Netherlands, I will say it for him – it is almost inconceivable that all the other EU member states would agree to the restoration of all those national vetoes so painstaking abolished through successive treaties, whether that applied to all member states or – even worse – just the UK.

    And it is hard to see any UK government of any of the old parties supporting that, given that previous UK governments have actually pressed for national vetoes to be abolished, starting with Thatcher and the Single European Act, and that few of the MPs of those old parties have any strong commitment to our national sovereignty and democracy.

  25. Sue Jameson
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Enough said!

    “I can travel to no European city – from Porto to Budapest, Barcelona to Krakow – without being faced by a homogenised, bland and subservient sameness that reeks of subjugation, repression and restriction. And everywhere flies that hateful rag, the blue of frozen human skin defaced with yellow pustules of disease. The same glass and stainless steel Malls deface every city centre; the same global, multinational retail chains pollute the streets, the same models of cars clog the ancient roads. The same … beggars with the same cardboard signs, the same hangdog, resentful look of the people, as though living under foreign occupation. This is the EU’s Europe.

    To paraphrase a significant social movement of its day, our fight against the EU is a moral crusade or it is nothing. It is a fight against the greed and inhumanity of the corporates, a fight for human freedom and democracy, a fight for the survival of national and sub-national cultures, a fight against centralism and Big State government, a fight against the evil of the power-hungry faceless and unelected manipulators at the heart of darkness in Brussels. Above all it is fight in celebration of all the peoples of Europe, and for the future of our much-loved continent. And it is the most important fight I will ever have in my life”.

    From one of my favourite bloggers Raedwald.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Sue – These comments are ridiculous. Change the names and they could be describing the area now known as Germany during the Thirty Years War.

    • Bazman
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Raedwald is mindless right wing nonsense that puts The Sun. To shame. None of it stands up. I could write the same and call it Bazman Voice of Reason.

  26. Posted January 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The Lisbon and Maastricht Treaties transferred important powers which belong ( belonged?) to the UK people, to others in Europe who were not elected, cannot be removed, and who therefore who are not accountable in the way that MPs are accountable to their constituents.

    We can all believe in Parliament democracy but, ironically, if those who are elected to Parliament don’t believe in it themselves and are prepared to hand over the role they are elected to perform, to an unaccountable bureaucracy, of whatever nationality, that presents a huge problem. That should not be allowed to happen without the people as a whole having their say in a referendum. No one who has looked at the arguments as presented in the 1975 referendum can claim that the people have already had that say.

    Most democratic progress is made when people decide to campaign for something they want. Governments in the end have to respond to it. No-one got the vote by voting for the vote. It was a hard won process by men and women over many years to achieve the system of Parliamentary democracy which was truly sovereign until it started to be whittled away little by little in the late 1960′s.

    So, before it is too late there does need to be a widespread campaign to stop the slide away from Parliamentary democracy in Britain and which would achieve widespread support across the entire political spectrum. It’s too important to be left to UKIP. The restoration of full UK Parliamentary democracy isn’t all about keeping out foreigners and its not at all about denying the reality of climate change, removing anyone’s human rights, or demonstrating any kind of hostility towards our European neighbours.

  27. bigneil
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    you mention Human Rights -been asked many times -why does human rights only apply to foreign illegals who have come here to commit crime of all levels -ruin peoples lives – and then claim they cannot be deported? as they would face persecution- -why aren’t the rights of the british ever took into consideration?

    cases where the illegal have killed people -then we have been ordered by some judge to keep them here – -and the family who have lost someone have to carry on working and paying taxes -knowing those taxes are going to keep the very scum here – on benefits – free house -free NHS -etc – and never working – -who is going to employ an illegally here murderer? -they can come here to commit such crimes – from countries where life is very very cheap – knowing they will get well rewarded for committing those very crimes – a nice short cushy sentence in a nice cushy jail with culturally sensitive meals – -and then released to put the rest of us in danger again as they walk the streets.

    shouldn’t human rights apply to people who can behave like humans – -and not to any scumbag who wants a free life here?

    • Brian
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree. Once you’ve broken the law then the human rights of the victim should take precedence over those of the offender.

    • uanime5
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      you mention Human Rights -been asked many times -why does human rights only apply to foreign illegals who have come here to commit crime of all levels -ruin peoples lives – and then claim they cannot be deported? as they would face persecution- -why aren’t the rights of the british ever took into consideration?

      Your attempts to claim that all human rights cases involve criminals undermines your whole argument. What about all the cases where newspapers have been able to report things because of their right to free speech?

  28. Antisthenes
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    “Tomorrow I will look at how the UK Parliament could reassert this essential truth.”

    I suggest that look will say that there is no alternative but to leave the EU. However even then if we wish to continue to trade with the EU by remaining a member of EFTA/EEA then not all the tentacles of the EU will be detached but at least the UK sovereignty that has been stolen will be handed back. It is in fact a pity that the UK has to leave the EU as interstate cooperation is very much desirable and was starting at regional level with the formation of trading partnerships such as the EEC and NAFTA and is very much heading toward a global one perhaps by the 22nd century. Unfortunately politicians decided that trading partnerships were not enough and that political and economic union should also be part of that partnership in Europe at least. A good intention no doubt but like many good intentions the outcome is proving to be a very unfavourable one and is proving to be harmful to economic and social well being and democracy.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Leaving the EU and settling, initially, for EFTA/EEA membership is no bad thing. Think of it as part of a ‘journey’ back to being a self governing nation.

      We will need time to untangle the Gordian Knot of EU legislation and re-learn how to govern ourselves again. When most of this process is over, we can begin the process of seeking bilateral arrangements with the EU. Other nation’s, like Denmark and Sweden may also join us in the EFTA/EEA, giving it a much stronger base.

      Whatever happens, the EU, like all empires, will never last forever, and without a Demos, will always be in a state of flux and infighting. Being on the outside and able to take and sides as and we suit, can be advantageous to those with the right skills. Its what we use to do, and we did it reasonably well, although we did get a bit too much involved over the last 200 years or so.

      • uanime5
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        We will need time to untangle the Gordian Knot of EU legislation and re-learn how to govern ourselves again. When most of this process is over, we can begin the process of seeking bilateral arrangements with the EU.

        As part of their bilateral agreement Switzerland has to obey all EU law, so they’ll be no point in removing all the EU law if we want to join the EFTA.

  29. Posted January 11, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Off topic but I am seething about this :

    I heard the first news bulletin on BBC Radio 4 announcing the death of Mr Sharron this afternoon.

    All that was mentioned is that he had died and then they had a soundbite from a Palestinian saying he was a war criminal. No mention of his military achievements or long and distinguished service to his country.

    I am not Jewish and have in the past been highly critical of Israei settlement policy but surely when a leading politician dies, the BBC should at the very least give him the courtesy of listing his achievements before condemning him ?

    This was a disgusting way to treat anyone who is no longer in a position to answer back

    After immigration, Europe and many other examples this is yet another example of BBC left wing bias. Such a contrast to the completely over the top and fawning treatment of Mandela’s death.

  30. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Mr Redwood

    Almost daily I look at the roll call of WW1 fallen posted on platform 3 at my railway station – from one rail company – thousands upon thousands of men.

    Whatever price it will be small by comparison.

    As Nigel Farage says – there is more to this than mere money.

  31. Electro-Kevin
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Off topic but relating to my previous comment about the sacrifices of our war dead.

    It is so often the young who are called upon to sacrifice.

    I am delighted that my company is recruiting so many young people into – for want of a better word – apprenticeships. This is how it should be. Not the boomers hogging it all for themselves. Share the wages and training more fairly across the generations. I urge that we have more of this sort of thing.

    One of the biggest disgraces of the modern employment era is not minimum wage but unpaid internships. Excepting education there is nothing which stifles social mobility more than this.

  32. They Work For Us?
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Prime Ministers (and most other politicians) forget themselves and their place. They believe they have a divine right to rule and that the “country, it’s people and resources are theirs to dispose of as they will. They forget that they are temporary custodians of our nation and its resources and that they are ephemeral and will be replaced. The comments made about treason and common law are valid but are immediately dismissed because the ruling eleite know better and the law is what they decide to make it.
    Our present political system is an “elected dictatorship”. How many people actually belong to and properly support the political parties whose candidates are put forward at an election. Very very very few.The support for the parties is based on a “fading race memory of broad policies of who was best for “us”" much like “Mr Kipl..ng always makes very good cakes” doesn’t he? or so my old dad used to say (I think).
    The three main parties have little validity to put themselves forward to rule the country. It is a great pity that the system is rigged to make it difficult for independents to stand and for new parties to get off the ground.stand.

  33. bluedog
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    It is remarkable that it has taken the UK debate on the EU so long to reach this point. One reads that 95 Conservative MP wish to re-instate the right to act in veto on EU law, a right currently suppressed. Whilst one agrees absolutely on the imperative that the UK Parliament is sovereign in the UK, in terms of international law, it would seem this can be done only by repudiating the Treaty of Lisbon completely. It is highly unlikely that the EU will permit selective application of its diktats without EU sanctions being applied to the disadvantage of the UK. In contested situations like this it always pays to seize and retain the initiative. As the leaders of the Coalition government are Europhiles and only reacting to a Europhobe faction, it seems unlikely that the UK will act with the deftness and skill required in managing this crisis, as there is no publicly agreed UK objective. The EU on the other hand, does have an agreed objective. accordingly we must hope that the UK insurgency is not decisively crushed as a result. On the other hand, if the insurgency is easily crushed, the British government will be rewarded by an adverse result in the European Parliamentary elections, which are assuming increasing importance. Perhaps that in itself is the intent of the Conservative 95.

  34. uanime5
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    The member states have to go along with a continuous process of more and more decisions and power going to Brussels.

    Well they do keep agreeing to treaties that give the EU more power.

    Parliament under a pro EU Labour government decided that some elements of the EU Convention on Human Rights were unsuitable for the UK and left them out of the UK legislation.

    Firstly the UK signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights after WW2 so all of these rights are enforceable by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

    Secondly Labour introduced the Human Rights Act so that most human rights could be enforceable in UK courts in order to reduce the number of appeals to the ECtHR, which often had high legal aid costs. I believe the article of the ECHR relating to compensation for human rights abuses were left out because the UK was meant to have a sufficient compensation system in place. Some protocols were also not included.

    The Labour government thought they had secured a Lisbon settlement that avoided the EU Convention becoming UK law. However, the senior Judge now concludes “it would seem that the much wider Charter of Human Rights is now part of our domestic law”.

    Wasn’t the Lisbon treaty where the UK opted out of the Charter of Human Rights, rather than the European Convention on Human Rights?

    In any case the court ruled that this charter has to be applied when the UK implements all EU law but doesn’t apply to domestic law.

    “Not only do we recommend a strengthening of the scrutiny reserve, we conclude that now is the time to propose the introduction of a form of national veto over EU legislative proposals, and then to explore the mechanics of disapplication of parts of existing EU obligations, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972″

    That’s ridiculous. The UK cannot pick and chose which parts of EU law it wishes to obey. All this law will result in is sanctions, a long legal battle, and possibly the UK being kicked out of the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Using the “obey” word again Uni I notice

      If you want to promote the delights of being a member of the EU then I would choose another word because the obey word makes the ultimate ambition of this organisation far too plain.

    • Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      “The UK cannot pick and chose which parts of EU law it wishes to obey. All this law will result in is sanctions, a long legal battle, and possibly the UK being kicked out of the EU.”

      I agree entirely. That’s why we need either a new deal with Brussels or to leave.
      Given the torrent of abuse from leading EU Politicians it’s looking absolutely certain that Cameron would not achieve any kind of satisfactory arrangement, no matter how much Merkel wants to help.

      Given the continuously stated aim of “Ever Closer Union” and the increasingly openly stated end result of a United States of Europe, we cannot remain in.

      This morning Andrew Marr singularly failed to ask Clegg the killer question which must from now on be asked of every Europhile : :

      “If we cannot negotiate a reform of the EU and they insist it has to be The USE or out, which way would you vote ?”

  35. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    To say that there are 2 sovereigns could be seen to be Treason.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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