The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 2

When the Conservative Party under the leadership of Edward Heath won the June 1970 general election, Prime Minister Heath lost no time is opening up negotiation to join the EEC. By the time the formal application was entered the EEC had established the fishing regulation into the acquis communautaire.

What was the Prime Minister to do?, Because of the acquis communautaire, the Nation’s asset and a whole industry had to be sacrificed for membership, he felt that was a price to pay, but rather than tell the truth his answer was to lie, and try and persuade others to lie – namely the Norwegian Prime Minister.

What Britain secured was a 10 year transitional derogation from Article 2 of Regulation 2140/70, to have exclusive rights inside the 6 mile limit and partial 6 to 12 mile limit. At the end of the 10 year period the derogation terminates and you revert back to the original, namely Article 2, unless every member state agrees to create another derogation, which is what happened. It only takes one member to say “no” and you automatically revert back, so you can imagine the advantage the other member states have over Britain, who wants to renew the derogation to keep the 6 and partial 6 to 12 mile position, rather than revert to “equal access” up to the shore (base) line. What Heath implied was at the end of the 10 year period Britain held the veto to maintain the derogation which was utter nonsense, and he knew it, hence the reason for his writing to the Norwegian Prime Minister to keep under wraps what the joining terms concerning fisheries really meant, but it was too late, the Norwegian Fisheries Minister had already let the cat out of the bag.

Norway has stayed out of the EU, Britain has been immersed in, based on deception, most would call it lies, which still continues.

In 1976, our Westminster Parliament passed the Fisheries Limits 1976 Act establishing the British fishing zone of 200 mile/median zone, as did all the other EEC/EU Member States, but because of our, and their, Accession Treaties, they had all given their fishing waters to the EU, as Community waters, and the only exclusive bit given back to Britain, and all the other EU coastal Nations, was by the transitional derogation.

This really was the start of the eradication of the Nation State.

By 1982, the signatory signing had commenced, under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas, for the coastal state to legally by International law to establish the 200 mile/median line fisheries zones, which had taken 14 years to negotiate, and was finally completed in 1994..

The point about this, it was the Westminster Parliament, and that Parliament alone, that set the pace to eradicate Britain as a Nation and to set the wheels in motion to create a new Nation – the EU.

Junius, the one who lived around 1770, not the present one, wrote:

“We can never be really in danger till the forms of Parliament are made use of to destroy the substance of our civil and political liberties: till Parliament itself betrays its trust, by contributing to establish new principles of government; and employing the very weapons committed to it by the collective body to stab the Constitution”

245 years later that is exactly was has happened, the mother of Parliaments has destroyed British democracy and is well on its way to destroy the Nations and principalities of the United Kingdom.

We cannot blame the European Union, or on the Fishing issue, Spain. It was the Westminster Parliament alone that accepted the acquis communautaire within our Accession Treaty. Yes, they obtained some transitional derogations, which were all time limited, but then as the other 19 Nations joined, they agreed and endorsed the acquis communautaire those Nations had to accept.

Now we have been promised by the Prime Minister a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether to remain in, or leave the EU. In the circumstances, that is to be welcomed, but again it diminishes Parliament’s authority, as Parliamentarians have abdicated their responsibilities to govern on behalf of the electorate, by throwing the decision back to the people. That is why I believe this referendum should be by the people, for the people, and the Westminster MPs should stay out of it. (which they will not.)

Our form of democracy, through our Constitution, is that the people choose their rulers, and the rulers rule. If the people are not satisfied, they can get rid of them, and as no Parliament can bind its successor, the people can truly call the shots, but as Junius said around 1770, our Parliament has betrayed its trust – it has not told the truth, it has established new principles of government – namely handing governance to unelected EU Commissioners, the powers handed by the electorate to Parliament – has been used to undermine the Constitution. Junius 245 years ago was correct, Parliament itself is the danger to our Nation.

(The use of opt-outs will be explained in a later article.)

The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 1

We welcome John Ashworth of Restore Britain’s Fish, who will be writing a series of articles about the EU’s iniquitous Common Fisheries Policy. Here is the first piece:- 

The events start with the Treaty of Rome, an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany – The six Member Nations.

Talks began at the end of June 1970 between the above six, and Britain Ireland Denmark and Norway, but before these four Nations had lodged their official application to join the EEC the six had created the Fisheries regulation.

When a Regulation is created, at the top it states the articles within the Treaty the regulation takes its authority from, and as soon as a Regulation comes into force, it in turn becomes what is known as the acquis communautaire.

In understanding the workings of the then EEC, now European Union, the above paragraph is probably one of the most important aspects to have to learn.

Firstly – what is this acquis communautaire. -. It is all EEC/EU treaties, EU legislation -(regulation), international agreements, standards, court verdicts, fundamental rights provisions and horizontal principles in the treaties such as equality and non-discrimination. In short, all EU-law.

When Britain joined in January 1973, the acquis communautaire amounted to around 5,000 pages; today it is estimated to be 170,000 pages and growing. When a nation joins, what is now the EU, it has to accept, and comply, with the acquis communautaire in full, without exception, other than with transitional derogations. In addition the existing members have to all agree, to the applying Nation joining under those terms, which in effect the existing members, by Treaty, are endorsing their allegiance/compliance to the acquis communautaire.

This then begs the question, when a politician states they will “reform” or “renegotiate”, one has to ask – what?, because if it is anything within the acquis communautaire, then you have to have a unanimous agreement among all members to change it, and if you take for example Croatia, who joined in July 2013, our Prime Minister agreed by Treaty to the terms, when nearly at the same, he saying he wants to change. Rather facing two ways at once.

Coming back to Britain’s Accession, the original six members, hours before the signed application for membership from the four was handed in, created Fisheries regulation 2140/70, which contained:

Article 2

1 Rules applied by each Member State in respect of fishing in the maritime waters coming under its sovereignty or within its jurisdiction shall not lead to differences in treatment of other Member States.

Member States shall ensure in particular equal conditions of access to and use of the fishing grounds situated in the waters referred to in the preceding subparagraph for all fishing vessels flying the flag of a Member State and registered in Community territory.

In laymen’s language, that is, on becoming a member of the then EEC, now EU, the fishery limits bestowed on a Nation by International Law, are handed to the EU, to become Community waters, shared equally and without discrimination, with every other Member Nation.

As Britain had the largest living marine resource within the EU. We had, by our Accession Treaty obligation share it with every other member – end result – our vessels had to go.

The British people were not told these facts, in fact the very opposite.

The purpose of Part 1, before extending onto transitional derogations, opt-outs and Parliament in Part 2, is to understand the Treaties themselves, the regulation based on the authority of Treaties, extending into an out of control acquis communautaire, as “the project” has grown from 6 members to 28. The numbers alone, by requiring unanimity, has created a rigid, unchangeable system.

When Britain joined in 1973 we had eight other members to get on side, with 17% of the Council of Ministers vote, today we have to get 27 other members on side with 8% of the vote. The founding Fathers of the EEC/EU knew others would join who would try to water down their objectives, but they designed the system, as you increased membership, a policy always supported by the Conservative Party, you strengthened the position to stay on track to create a fully integrated Europe, all in the EU, even if it is a two tier, a hard inner core, and softer outer core, both will have to accept and obey the acquis communautaire. The outer core will simply have more derogations and opt-outs.

 

The Norway Option DVD

The Norway Option DVD

norway option dvd

Living outside the European Union – Find out how Norway has prospered outside the European Union but part of the “European Economic Area” (EEA). Publicist Peter Troy and director Tony Baker, an experienced political documentary maker together with anti-EU campaigner Richard North visit Norway and meet politicians, journalists and business people to see what we in the UK from the Norwegians. The 35 minute DVD film production is recommended viewing for people interested in the vexed debate on In or Out of the EU.

Click here to view the trailer of the film which is described as “excellent” by Lord Tebbit.

Sadly, Mr Troy died inApril 2015 and it is currently not possible to purchase copies of this DVD directly as his website has been taken down. If you would like to order a copy, please contact admin@campaignforanindependentbritain.org.uk and we will make a note of your request and when copies once again become available, ensure one is dispatched to you.

 

 

 

Rebuttal of the Europhiles’ Arguments

On 30th June 2011 The Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe, claimed a number of benefits that follow from Britain’s EU membership. In this rebuttal the Bruges Group addresses the main points he raises.

1) Access to the Single Market is of central economic importance to the UK

The Single Market is a Customs Union with the institutions of the European Union making regulations which govern businesses within it. There are no important customs unions anywhere else in the world.

EU membership is not a prerequisite for access to the Single Market. Switzerland and Norway which are outside of the EU, export more in relation to their GDPs and per capita than the UK does. Furthermore, both China and the USA each export more to the EU than the UK does and without having their economies burdened by costly EU regulation.

Countries as far afield as Mexico, Turkey, Chile and South Africa have tariff free access to the Single Market. Without having to pay the huge costs associated with the EU. As shown later in this report the costs both the taxpayer and the British economy amount to many 10s of billions of pounds per year.

The Single Market with its four freedoms of free movement of goods, capital, services, and people is not just reserved for EU members. Those four freedoms also apply to members of what is known as the European Economic Area (EEA). Britain is also a member of the EEA and this guarantees that Britain will always enjoy those four freedoms regardless of EU membership.

 2) The EU is one of the world’s most important trading zones

Less that 10% of the UK economy is involved with trading with businesses in other EU member- states. However, 100% of our economy must comply with the EU’s excessive regulatory burden.

Single Market trade is also becoming less important to the UK. With the growth of emerging markets the amount of British foreign trade with the rest of the world is set to increase so that by
2020 around 70% of Britain’s foreign trade will not be with the EU. Presently, the EU accounts for approximately just 40% of the UK’s trade.

 3) The benefits of EU membership… include free movement

As previously stated citizens of European Economic Area member-states have the opportunity for free movement throughout both the EU and the EEA. If the government continues to support the free movement of people then this can be achieved via the UK’s membership of the EEA.

ree movement into the UK is also an issue of great political concern in the UK, yet government cannot address this whilst governed by EU rules in this area.

 4) That 3.5 million jobs, 10% of the UK workforce, are reliant on exports to EU member states

This misleading claim first emerged in the year 2000 from the now defunct Britain in Europe group which unsuccessfully campaigned for Britain to join the euro. They apparently based this claim on research they commissioned into how many jobs were involved with the EU. However, Dr Martin Weale the Director of The National Institute for Economic and Social Research described Britain in Europe’s spin as “pure Goebbels” and said, “in many years of academic research I cannot recall such a willful distortion of the facts.” The report had in reality came to the conclusion that the jobs would still exist regardless of whether the UK was a member of the EU or not.

It is surprising that a Conservative Minister is repeating that erroneous claim.

British people and business do not need to remain within the EU, a supra-national political structure, to trade with other people and businesses on the continent.

The UK is a member of the European Economic Area and EEA members have tariff free access to the Single Market. Furthermore, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would prevent the EU discriminating against British exporters. What is more, Articles 3, 8 and 50 of the Lisbon Treaty legally requires the EU to negotiate “free and fair trade” with non-EU countries.

The UK is the single biggest purchaser of exports from the other 26 EU member-states. They sell far more to Britain than British businesses sell to them. Perhaps the government should take action to address structural trade deficit which effectively means that Britain losing jobs to the continent.

 5) Collective action gives us more negotiating power

Britain, with only 8% of the votes in the Council of Ministers has little formal power over the determination of EU rules, whereas a sovereign state would have 100% authority over its own affairs.

Outside of the EU Britain can retake its seat on the World Trade Organisation and negotiate according to our best interests instead of being represented by an EU trade commissioner who is currently from Belgium. Britain will then be able to negotiate without being encumbered by the differing interests of other EU nations that often have a different outlook to the UK. And as one of the largest WTO members the UK can support the many other members who share our global trading outlook.

Britain is having its own foreign policy decisions being subjugated to common EU positions. Both national and EU embassies will have to cooperate. As a result of the common foreign policy the UK diplomatic service will be receiving direction from the EU’s High Representative.

EU rules also state that “The High Representative shall represent the Union for matters relating to the common foreign and security policy. He or she shall conduct political dialogue with third parties on the Union’s behalf and shall express the Union’s position in international organisations and at international conferences.”

They also state that “When the Union has defined a position on a subject which is on the United Nations Security Council agenda, those Member States which sit on the Security Council shall request that the High Representative be asked to present the Union’s position.”

Furthermore, Defence integration is already underway.

One of the areas cited by Mr Lidington included the ability to reduce crime, catch criminals and take action to tackle abuse of the asylum system

What Mr Lidington may be unaware of is that Britain cannot deport foreign EU criminals because of an EU directive, number 2004/58/EC. The EU’s increasing involvement in areas to do with Justice and Home Affairs such as the European Arrest Warrant and the European Investigation Order are seen as threats to our civil liberties and should not be welcomed.

The attempt to claim that EU control over Britain’s asylum policy as a benefit of EU membership is also surprising.

 6) Mr Lidington was confident in the UK’s ability to move the EU in the right direction

The EU is unreformable, it is not proposing to return any powers to the member-states and the EU continues to legislate thus continually deepening the centralisation within the EU.

 7) The governments EU referendum lock was also cited in the letter as part of moving the EU in the right direction

It does no such thing. The Government have introduced the EU Bill, containing the so-called ‘Referendum Lock’; however this does not prevent the EU expanding its powers without a referendum. It can still do this by legislating in new areas which it has not as yet done so but are granted to it as shared competences under the terms of the treaties. Once it has done so this becomes another EU occupied field and national Parliaments must then confirm to EU law and can only legislate in those areas if they obey the principles of the EU legislation. The EU Bill does not cover referendums in such circumstances and only in the event of there being a new Treaty and then only if the Government considers a Treaty change a ‘significant’ transfer of power.

In conclusion what Mr Lidington has failed to address is the enormous costs of Britain’s EU membership:

  • Britain has to hand over to the EU more than £10 billion each year excluding contributions to the bailout schemes
  • The Common Agricultural Policy costs Britain at least £16.8 billion per annum. According to the Consumer Nominal Assistance Coefficient (CNAC), on average, agricultural prices paid by European consumers are 23% higher than those prevailing in international markets. It means higher food prices for an average family in the UK of £1,500 per year.
  • The Common Fisheries Policy costs Britain over £3 billion in lost commercial opportunities each year. This figure is derived at by calculating the proportion of the value of the EU’s total catch, approximately £5 billion per year, of which it is estimated that 70% comes from previously defined British waters. Furthermore, in 1970 there were 21,443 fishermen in the UK. By 2007 that figure had dropped to 12,729: a decrease of 40.64%.
  • Over-regulation from the EU on business costs Britain over £20 billion per annum holding back UK economic growth by 2% each year. The British Chamber of Commerce Burdens Barometer, counting regulation from Whitehall and Brussels, puts the cumulative figure of total regulation upon British businesses much higher. At least 50%, and perhaps as much as 70%, of this legislation originated from Brussels, therefore the cost of EU regulation is at least 2% of GDP and that is a conservative estimate. Peter Mandelson told the 2004 CBI conference that the cost of regulation amounts to 4% of Europe’s GDP. Also in 2004 the Dutch Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Gerrit Zalm stated that the administrative burden on business in the Netherlands was estimated at 4% of GDP. In October 2006 Gunter Verhuegen, the European Commission Vice-President for industry and Enterprise estimated that the annual cost of EU regulation across the EU amounted to €600 billion per annum (around 5.5% of GDP), while the benefits of the Single Market amount to only €160 billion: therefore the costs exceeded the benefits by €440 billion. Later, in a letter from Commissioner Verhuegen to Bill Newton-Dunn MEP, dated 18th June 2007, he gives the overall EU figure as an average of 3.5% of GDP for all member states and the figure would be similar for the UK. Therefore, the £20 billion per annum and 2% figures are erring on the side of caution.

The question needs to be asked if this is a cost worth paying and ask for a genuine explanation of what we get in return. If the Treasury disputes those figures then there should be an official cost benefit analysis into Britain’s EU membership.

THE BRUGES GROUP

The Bruges Group is an independent all–party think tank. Set up in February 1989, its aim was to promote the idea of a less centralised European structure than that emerging in Brussels. Its inspiration was Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech in September 1988, in which she remarked that “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re–imposed at a European level…”. The Bruges Group has had a major effect on public opinion and forged links with Members of Parliament as well as with similarly minded groups in other countries.

The Bruges Group spearheads the intellectual battle against the notion of “ever–closer Union” in Europe. Through its ground–breaking publications and wide–ranging discussions it will continue its fight against further integration and, above all, against British involvement in a single European state.

For more information about the Bruges Group please contact:

Robert Oulds, Director
The bruges group, 227 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street, London W1B 5TB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Email: info@brugesgroup.com

Why Britain must repudiate the European Arrest Warrant

Justice photo

Copyright (c)  Torquil Dick-Erikson 2014

1) The EAW is unjust and oppressive, and tramples on our historic rights and freedoms

Habeas Corpus presupposes that any order to arrest a person must be based on evidence of a prima facie case to answer that has already been collected by the authorities. This requirement is negated by the EAW, which forbids UK courts from asking to see evidence collected by the requesting state. The reality is that under the Napoleonic-inquisitorial systems of criminal justice used on the continent, suspects are arrested on the basis of mere clues, and most of the investigation to seek evidence is conducted with the suspects under lock and key. This can last many months, and there is no right to any public hearing during this time. This cannot happen under British procedures, where Habeas Corpus ensures that within hours of arrest, a suspect must be brought into an open court hearing and there charged, with evidence already available to be shewn.

 

2) It is based on a false conception – that the European Convention on Human Rights gives equivalent protection to our rights in all EU countries.

Neither the governmentt nor even the legal profession has conducted any systematic research into continental criminal law systems. They all rely (lazily) on the fact that all EU states are signed up to the ECHR, and this is supposed to guarantee the fairness of their systems and their worthiness of recognition by our own. It is (presumably) supposed that the matter of evidence need not be examined by a British court, because the foreign court can be relied on to deal with it adequately and fairly.

The trouble with this is that the ECHR is vague and woolly in its wording, and totally inadequate when compared to the safeguards provided by our own Common Law system. For example, article 6 says a prisoner has a “right to a public hearing before an impartial tribunal in a reasonable time”. But it doesn’t say what is “reasonable”. This can be as long as a piece of string. For us it is hours after arrest. In Italy, for example, and in the EU’s Corpus Juris proposal for a single criminal code for all Europe, it can be up to six months, extensible. During this time there is no right to a public hearing. The time is used by the investigators to interrogate the suspect in prison, and to try to build a case against him. 

 

3) It will give the EU the key power of statehood – arbitrary physical coercion over our bodies

 Only a State has the right to arrest someone and put them in prison, depriving them of their liberty. If anybody else does it, it is a kidnap, and kidnappers are common criminals. By giving the EU this power – which is henceforth to be submitted to the jurisdiction of the ECJ and the enforcement powers of the Commission, so placed quite beyond the reach of our Parliament – we will effectively be granting it Statehood.

By granting the EU the power to have people arrested in Britain on no evidence, we grant them the power to exercise physical coercion over us quite arbitrarily. The real reasons for arresting a person may be quite different from the ones ostensibly stated – ie the charges can be trumped up. Their purpose could be political.

 

4) The European Public Prosecutor will be able to use it against us (despite our opt-out)

The idea of “mutual recognition” by EU states of one another’s legal systems was originally put forward at Tampere in 1999 by Jack Straw as an alternative to the Corpus Juris proposal for a single system of criminal justice imposed on all (which he realised would be immediately unacceptable to the British people). The EAW is the first fruit of this idea. However the very first mention of a “European Warrant for Arrest” is actually in Corpus Juris itself (see below).

What seems to have escaped notice in Britain is that the EAW is not a permanent alternative to Corpus Juris, it is a stepping stone towards it. The centrepiece of Corpus Juris is the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor (EPP). Corpus Juris is the rule-book that defines his tasks and his powers. At least nine EU states are going ahead anyway with the EPP, under enhanced cooperation, though the UK has opted out.

However, our opt-out can be, and doubtless will be, sidestepped as have some other opt-outs in the past. Article 24.1.b of Corpus Juris (original edition, 1997) provides that “a European Warrant for Arrest, issued on the instructions of the EPP by a national judge… is valid across the whole territory…”. Obviously, since Britain has opted out of the EPP proposal, the EPP will not be able to instruct a British judge to issue an EAW. But he can order, say, a Belgian judge to issue one against a person in the UK. Unless we repudiate the EAW now, the British police will receive the EAW from Belgium, and will simply have to execute it, with no questions asked. The person will be trussed up and shipped over to Belgium, where he will await the pleasure of the Belgian judge, who will doubtless hand him over to the EPP, and there he will languish, under lock and key for up to six months, extensible by three months at a time (Corpus Juris, art. 20.3.g), and with no right to any public hearing during all this time.

Our own lawyers may well opine that “this would be an illegitimate use of the EAW”, but unless we repudiate the EAW now, the entire matter will be subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ, so out of our hands. And as we know, the ECJ’s mission statement says its decisions must always further the aim of “ever-closer union”…            

It is not yet known who will have power to appoint the EPP, but it is highly likely that the unelected Commission, which holds the monopoly of legislative proposals in the EU, will have a say. Doubtless there will be some statement in the legislation to say that the EPP “must be impartial and independent” but he will surely feel beholden to whoever it was who selected him, and who will doubtless have a say in his re-selection when his term comes to an end.

 

5)  Its supposed advantages are non-existent for Britain

It is said by its apologists that the EAW is good for Britain because it enables us to obtain the speedy extradition of our own criminals who have taken refuge in other EU countries (and by the way, if we controlled our own borders this would not be so easy for them). Now our own police and crown prosecution service will never request the arrest of someone (whether inside or outside Britain) unless they have already collected enough prima facie evidence against him. They do this anyway, and they did it before the EAW – they would send an extradition request with an indication of the evidence against the suspect. They would continue to do it after the EAW was repudiated and we reverted to the previous arrangements. Our own procedures would not change. The difference would be that the foreign prosecutors requesting us to extradite someone would also have to provide evidence against the wanted person. At present they can have people extradited on a mere whim, or a hunch, or a “feeling” that the person in question is guilty, they do not need to shew any hard evidence.

The subtext of what the apologists for the EAW are saying is actually that, unless we continue to allow the foreign authorities to haul over anybody they fancy, providing no evidence, then they will retaliate, and put up all sorts of difficulties when we request an extradition from them. Even though our extradition requests are furnished with serious evidence. If this is really how they would behave, then they would be behaving in a petty and spiteful manner, and their behaviour would amount to blackmail. The British response to any type of blackmail should surely be robust. 

 

6) It will have good political traction with the public

It is said that arrests and extraditions only affect a tiny minority of the public, so people are not too concerned about it. It would thereby not be worth investing political capital in this matter. As long as we have confidence in the justice system under which we live, so that only real criminals are badly affected, this consideration may well be true.

However, one of the reasons to be proud to be British, is that British people actually do care when they see an innocent person wrongfully locked up. We do not just shrug and say “Well, that’s tough, but that is how the cookie crumbles”. On the whole we tend to get indignant, and we say “That is not how the cookie should crumble, and if it does, we damn well need to change it.” Hundreds of years ago, the English poet William Blake summed up the national feeling when he wrote, “A robin redbreast in a cage, Puts all heaven in a rage”. British people know, in their bones, that freedom from arbitrary arrest and wrongful imprisonment is important. Indeed it is important enough for past generations to have fought wars and laid down their lives to prevent it happening to us in our own country. Freedom and fairness are the values inscribed on our banner, in our laws, and in our hearts. We may be a “nation of shopkeepers” and we do realise the importance of economics, but we also cherish higher values than money (and indeed without freedom economics languishes).

At present people in Britain are accustomed to enjoying personal freedom and the safeguards of British law such as Habeas Corpus and Trial by Jury, as much as they are accustomed to breathing air without having to pay for it. Some are perturbed at some of the cases thrown up by the EAW, but overall they have accepted – so far – the bland reassurances by the politicos regarding the ECHR (“you know the Convention was drawn up largely by British lawyers…”), and by the unspoken assumption that the other EU countries are politically democratic and so surely must have fair and democratic criminal law systems too, even though not quite as scrupulously applied as our own. So they do not feel immediately threatened. They are like people lying on a beach facing the land and not seeing the tsunami wave rushing in from the ocean to drown them all. We just need to give them the facts, ie tell them to look over their shoulders towards the sea. When they see the tidal wave coming, they will react, just as they did in 1940. 

 

7) Repudiating it will not require the government to breach the Treaty, so no renegotiation is needed.

It seems to be insufficiently appreciated that this is an open goal. Under Lisbon, our government and Parliament were entirely at liberty to exercise the block opt-out from the 130 Justice and Home Affairs measures listed. They have done that, despite the shrill protests from Commissioner Reding. And now it is entirely up to us to choose freely which measures to opt back into, or not. No negotiation is needed. No permission or agreement from any EU body nor any other EU state is required. Opting back in is an entirely voluntary act. 

 

8) Not to repudiate it will make a mockery of Cameron’s stated aim to “claw back powers from the EU”

 In view of the above, the government’s stated aim to opt back into 35 of the JHA measures, including the EAW, makes a mockery of Cameron’s other stated aim to “claw back powers from the EU”.

Especially since the EAW is the ace of trumps, it is the key state power trumping all others, it will grant de facto statehood to the EU.

 

9)  Not to repudiate it will make a mockery of the Magna Carta celebrations currently planned by the government.

800 years ago, England made a major contribution to human civilisation, by beginning a process of limiting the power of the State, putting constraints on the power of the king. There is a general awareness in Britain today, and in the English-speaking world that shares our traditions, that in 1215 we did something good and important, and worth celebrating.

But we must also realise that at the same time, in continental Europe the Pope was setting up the machinery of the Inquisition, which vastly extended the power of the State over the individual. Only England to a fair extent escaped the ravages of the Inquisition during the centuries that followed. The EAW, and then Corpus Juris, by submitting us to the writ of continental prosecutors and judges, and of the EPP himself, will bring us under the sway of a Europe that uses the Napoleonic-inquisitorial method. Thus we shall be terminating 800 years of our own distinctive legal history, where the law has also been a shield for the individual against the otherwise overweening power of the State, instead of merely a weapon for the ruler to impose his will on the people.

 

The Lisbon Treaty: A constitutional revolution by stealth by Anthony Coughlan

When the Lisbon Treaty came into force at the end of last year, members of the European Parliament, who previously had been “representatives of the peoples of the States brought together in the Community”, became “representatives of the Union’s citizens”. This change in the legal status of MEPs is but one illustration of the constitutional revolution being brought about by the Lisbon Treaty.

For Lisbon, like the EU Constitution before it, establishes for the first time a European Union which is constitutionally separate from and superior to its Member States, just as the USA is separate from and superior to its 50 constituent states, or as Federal Germany is in relation to its Länder.

The 27 EU members thereby lose their character as true sovereign states. Constitutionally, they become more like regional states in a multinational federation, although they still retain some of the trappings of their former sovereignty.

Most people are unaware of these astonishing changes, for two reasons. One is that, with the exception of the Irish, the people of the EU member states have been denied any chance of learning about and debating them in national referendums. The other is that the terms “European Union”, “EU citizen” and “EU citizenship” were already in use before Lisbon, but Lisbon changes their constitutional content fundamentally.

The Lisbon Treaty therefore is a constitutional revolution by stealth.

Three steps to a federal-style Constitution

This revolution takes place in three interconnected steps:

Firstly, the Treaty establishes a European Union with legal personality and a fully independent corporate existence for the first time. This enables the post-Lisbon Union to function as a State vis-a-vis other States externally, and in relation to its own citizens internally.

Secondly, Lisbon abolishes the European Community which goes back to the Treaty of Rome and which makes European laws at present, and transfers the Community’s powers and institutions to the new Union, so that it is the post-Lisbon Union, not the Community, which will make supranational European laws henceforth. Lisbon also transfers to the EU the “intergovernmental” powers over crime, justice and home affairs, as well as foreign policy and security, leaving only aspects of the Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy outside the scope of its supranational powers. The Treaty thereby gives a unified constitutional structure to the post-Lisbon EU.

Thirdly, Lisbon then makes 500 million Europeans into real citizens of the new Federal-style Union which the Treaty establishes. Instead of EU citizenship “complementing” national citizenship, as under the Maastricht Treaty, Lisbon provides that EU citizenship shall be “additional to” national citizenship.

This is a real dual citizenship – not of two different States, but of two different levels of one State. One can only be a citizen of a State, and all States must have citizens. Dual citizenship like that provided for in Lisbon is normal in classical Federations which have been established from the bottom up by constituent states surrendering their sovereignty to a superior federal entity, in contrast to federations that have come into being “top-down”, as it were, as a result of unitary states adopting federal form. Examples of the former are the USA, 19th Century Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. Lisbon would confer a threefold citizenship on citizens of Federal Germany’s Länder.

Being a citizen means that one must obey the law and give loyalty to the authority of the State of which one is a citizen – in the case of classical Federations, of the two state levels, the federal and the regional or provincial. In the post-Lisbon EU the rights and duties attaching to citizenship of the European Union will be superior to those attaching to one’s national citizenship in any case of conflict between the two, because of the superiority of EU law over national law and Constitutions.

An alternative source of democratic legitimacy to the Nation State

Under Lisbon population size will in turn become the primary basis for EU law- making, as in any State with a common citizenry. This will happen after 2014, when the Treaty provision comes into force that EU laws will be made by 55% of the Member States – currently 15 out of 25 – as long as they represent between them 65% of the total population of the Union. Germany and France together have one third of the EU’s population.

Lisbon provides an alternative source of democratic legitimacy which challenges the right of national governments to be the representatives of their electorates in the EU. The amended Treaty provides: “The functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy. Citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament. Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government and in the Council by their governments.”

The constitutional structure of the post-Lisbon EU is completed by the provision which turns the European Council of Prime Ministers and Presidents into an “institution” of the new European Union, so that its acts, or its failing to act would, like those of the other EU institutions, be subject to legal review by the EU Court of Justice.

Constitutionally speaking, the summit meetings of the European Council will henceforth no longer be “intergovernmental” gatherings outside supranational European structures, as they have been up to now. The European Council will in effect be the Cabinet Government of the post-Lisbon EU. Its individual members will be constitutionally obliged to represent the Union to their Member States as well as their Member States to the Union, with the former function imposing primacy of legal obligation in any case of conflict or tension between the two.

As regards the State authority of the post-Lisbon European Union, this will be embodied in the EU’s own legislative, executive and judicial institutions: the European Council, Council of Ministers, Parliament, Commission and Court of Justice. It will be embodied also in the Member States and their authorities as they implement and apply EU law and interpret and apply national law in conformity with European law. Member States will be constitutionally required to do this under the Lisbon Treaty.

Although the Lisbon Treaty has given the EU a Federal-style Constitution without most people noticing, they are bound to find out in time and react against what is being done. There is no democratic legitimacy to the institutions the Lisbon Treaty establishes and there is nothing that will make people identify with these as they do with the institutions of their home countries. This is the core problem of the EU integration project. Lisbon has, in effect, made the EU’s democratic deficit much worse.

Anthony Coughlan is President of the Foundation for EU Democracy, Brussels, Belgium, and Director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, Dublin, Ireland. (See www.nationalplatform.org.) He is Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.