Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Treaty, Constitution - or Conspiricy?

The Constitution drawn up by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing for the EU would have made it a legal body under international law which could sign treaties, create a common foreign policy, establish and impose on us a charter of fundamental rights, introduce more "qualified majority voting”- effectively imposing the will of the rest of Europe on every member. But the EU Constitution was dropped when the French wisely said ‘non’ in 2005.

Like a nightmare character from a horror film the Constitution refuses to die. Now it’s back, - this time it’s called a treaty.

In 2005 Labours Manifesto pledge stated: ‘We will put it [the EU Constitution] to the British people in a referendum and campaign whole-heartedly for a ‘Yes’ vote’.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said this morning that the treaty was different in "absolute essence" from the defunct European constitution; and that a referendum was therefore no longer necessary.

But the rest of Europe disagrees with him:

· Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said: ‘thankfully they haven’t changed the substance - 90 per cent of it is still there’

· Jean-Luc Dehaene, the former prime minister of Belgium who is now a senior MEP, has said that 95 per cent of the constitution was back .

· The Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, has said 'I believe that 98 per cent of the content ….. is to be found in the future EU Treaty.

· And Diego Lopez Garrido, the Spanish Government’s parliamentary spokesman, said: ‘99 per cent of its content has survived

· The Finnish Europe Minister Astrid Thors said: ‘There’s nothing from the original institutional package that has been changed’

I was too young to take part in the only referendum on Europe we have ever had in 1974. We are long overdue another chance to have our say on the EU project.

In spite of protests from all the opposition parties, the unions and as many as 120 of his own MP’s Mr Brown has high-handedly refused to give the public a say on this vital constitutional matter.

He must be made to change his mind before it is too late.


martin pell said...

Why does everybody ignore history? In fact recent history shows that imposing your vision of unification, from above, on historically different peoples leads to one destination - Strife (And a lot of trouble too, but that would be two destinations...). The former USSR tried this very tactic of impostion of their communist model on the Baltic republics. The Former Yugoslavia isn't exactly a glowing advertisement for "unification" of peoples. Common history in Europe unites us, but alas also divides us.

Pity the Frenchman who arrives at Waterloo station, takes a tube to Trafalgar Square to bejoined by the Spaniard and the German fresh from their respective toils around the tourist highspots like the Golden Hinde and HMS Belfast!

The point is if we truly believe in the political correct mantra of "celebrating diversity we should maintain it at a nation state level, not submerge it into a bureacratic quasi federation. The rumblings of discontent will only grow if we do. Yugoslavia should be a warning to us all.

Anonymous said...

...er 1975 was the year. Now why didn't the Conservatives have a referendum when they signed up to the Single European Act or the Maastrict Treaty - treaties far more important than the Reform Treaty.

Anonymous said...

Great post Martin I agree with every word.