"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."

Saturday, 15 January 2011

From Open Europe

Lifted wholesale from Open Europe:

"The Government’s controversial European Union Bill will return to the House of Commons on 24 January, when MPs will discuss the so-called ‘referendum lock’ contained in the Bill. The lock is designed to give the public and Parliament a say over future transfers of powers from Westminster to Brussels. Though it has been subject to plenty of criticism, the Bill offers a golden opportunity to finally put a check on Brussels’ drive towards ‘ever closer union’. However, for the Bill to really withstand the steady stream of new EU laws and power grabs, it has to be strengthened.

We would encourage you to write to your MP urging them to support a stronger and more robust Bill. Open Europe has produced a summary and explanation of the key amendments that have been tabled that would radically strengthen the Bill, which could be useful as a reference when you write to your MP (click this
link to access them)

As it stands, there are some worrying loopholes in the Bill that urgently need to be changed for the referendum lock to have real teeth.

Firstly, any new EU measure in crime, policing and immigration – such as the European Investigation Order that the Government opted into last year with minimum debate – should require the approval of either the people in a referendum, or Parliament in less significant cases before the Government can sign up to it. The UK can decide whether to opt in to these on a case by case basis, but at the moment, these hugely sensitive decisions are left entirely to the discretion of Ministers. We need to amend the EU Bill to change that.

Secondly, by 2014, under an obscure provision in the Lisbon Treaty, the Government must decide whether EU police and crime laws agreed before the entry into force of the Treaty (in 2009) – including the controversial European Arrest Warrant – continue to apply to the UK. If it opts out of one of these laws, it has to opt out of the entire lot! If it stays in, EU judges will for the first time have the final say over these laws.

In other words, 2014 will see a clear, one-off choice between more or less EU control over the British legal system. The EU Bill must put this hugely important choice to the people – or at the very least Parliament. Not Ministers.

There are further areas in which the Bill can be tightened up and we address these in our briefing. So please help us to bring powers over EU laws back to people and Parliament by writing to your MP."

To read Open Europe’s briefing on the ‘referendum lock’, click here

Support Open Europe

2 comments:

  1. "Firstly, any new EU measure in crime, policing and immigration – such as the European Investigation Order that the Government opted into last year with minimum debate – should require the approval of either the people in a referendum, or Parliament in less significant cases before the Government can sign up to it."

    In the words of the great Maggietollah: No No No! Any change to our constitution, system of law, whatever is not for Parliament to decide - whatever the degree of significance - it is and must be for the people to decide!

    But then Open Europe always did have a tinge of Europhilia to it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, they are europhiles Mr W - in Europe but not run by Europe. But, for all that, they do pretty well.

    ReplyDelete

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