"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

No Referenda On Opt-Ins

The European Union Bill had its second reading yesterday. Hague confirmed the view of many of us that this Bill wouldn't be the strong referendum lock that was promised to a euro-sceptic electorate pre-election.  As I've blogged before, a referendum will be limited (any issue must be agreed by lawyers, Ministers and Parliament in that order before any referendum is offered to the people) and the European Union Bill is a meaningless sop which will do nothing to strengthen British Parliamentary sovereignty.  Hague yesterday:
"In the context of this bill, it is any proposal to give up our freedom not to participate in Justice and Home Affairs decisions that will be subject to a referendum ... Given the strict time limits which apply to the UK's decision to exercise an opt-in - which is within three months of the receipt of a proposal - and the fact that there are thirty to forty proposals per annum, it is not possible to place a primary legislative lock or parliamentary resolution requirement on the exercise of the opt in."
From Open Europe:
Justice and home affairs is the area in which the EU gains the most new powers under the Lisbon Treaty and the fastest growing item in the EU budget. Under Lisbon, the European Commission has greater powers to draw up new laws, the European Parliament has the power to amend them, and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is responsible for enforcing them.

New EU laws therefore represent a zero-sum equation: the UK Parliament and courts maintain control or it is handed to the Commission, MEPs and judges at the ECJ. The choice is clear: more or less power for Brussels.
ConHome has extracts from the speeches given by Conservative backbenchers including Cash & Redwood.  The commenters aren't happy bunnies - here's an example:
I'm afraid we are reaching the stage where only civil disobedience will persuade our rulers to pay any attention to the electorate.


  1. Yup,Dave&Nick will pay no more attention to us demanding, not withdral, just a referendum.

    I was old enough to vote to remain within the Common Market as it was then called, thus rejecting kith and kin in the Commonwealth which was then the main argument against the EU, not the EU itself.

    I was told it was about Free Trade and freedom to move around without Visas while dead traitor E.Heath said again and again that it would not reduce Sovereignty.
    Yet this very week we see Julian Assange arrested by our Police on an Interpol Euro Arrest Warrant, denied bail for no good reason before being procedured off to Sweden for rape charges that are widely regarded as a stitch up all at the behest of the US Govt.for embarrassing it with THEIR OWN STUFF!
    I know that Interpol and the Euro Warrant might not be strictly EU but it's all part and parcel of the overall treachery.

    Why would any of the powers that be give up that sort of power?

  2. tptb think we're stupid and our views not worth taking into account. They know best. It's the lies & double-speak that get to me - when we hear a politician speak we have to ask ourselves what they really mean. As for this 'referendum lock', it was never going to be an effective mechanism.


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