We have established in parts 1 and 2 that Parliament itself is the danger to our nation. Parliament has become a middle tier of management through which EU legislation passes (via the European Communities 1972 Act and its additions), to be then administered and policed by the Nation State.
As we observe Prime Minister Cameron do the rounds, for whatever he wants to portray as his reform package to bring about this second tier, it is important to compare what is happening now, to the beginning, 43 years ago, by another Prime Minister – Heath.
On the 17th. February 1972, during the debate in the House of Commons during the second reading of the European Communities 1972 Bill, the Leader of the opposition Harold Wilson, after talking about sugar and New Zealand stated: The fisheries ‘Transitional arrangements’ (Article 100 of the treaty) allows members until 31st December, 1982, to restrict fishing in waters under their sovereignty or jurisdiction. Beyond that date the Commission has the initiative in making proposals, and then the Council: acting on a proposal from the Commission…shall examine the provisions which could follow the derogations in force until 31st December, 1982. It does not say it will or must. The derogation is in force until 31st December, 1982, and the Council has to decide. Unanimity rule? Veto? Whose veto? It really is New Zealand again in the case of fisheries, except that it takes effect a few years later. There is no automatic continuation of the temporary provisions, with a veto on attempts to end them, but the working out of new and conceivably entirely different provisions which could follow. It is worse than New Zealand because with New Zealand there is some commitment to do something. How much is not stated. Here there is no commitment whatever which could follow.”
Wilson was nearly there, but he clearly did not know what happens when a transitional derogation ends. That is, you revert back to what you were derogated from.
Prime Minster Heath replied: “The Leader of the Opposition must surely agree that we cannot go into Europe and take decisions unilaterally, on our own. The question, therefore, if one is dealing for example, with fisheries as far ahead as 1982, is how we can best protect our rightful interests. If it is to be done on a majority decision, then there is a possibility of being outvoted. But if it is a question of a unanimous decision and we have the right of veto, then we have the ability to protect our essential interests. [Interruption.] With respect to hon. Gentlemen opposite, we have the right of veto.”
The Prime Minister seriously misled the House. Instead of explaining how the system works to the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister confusds the issue further, by stating we held the veto, which we didn’t. All the other Members held the veto to stop a replacement derogation being created, which can again only be transitional, (No longer than the original) not permanent.
At the end of Prime Minister Heath’s winding up speech he stated: “If this House will not agree to the Second Reading of the Bill tonight and so refuses to give legislative effect to its own decision of principle, taken by a vast majority less than four months ago, my colleagues and I are unanimous that in these circumstances this Parliament cannot sensibly continue. I urge hon. Members to implement the clear decision of principle taken on 28th October last and to cast their votes for the Second Reading of this Bill.”
So Prime Minister Heath gave the House of Commons false information during the debate on the Second reading, and threatened to dissolve Parliament. He won the vote by 8. If he had told the truth he could have lost.
With Prime Ministers Heath and Cameron it begs the question, did/do they understand Accession Treaties, derogations, and the acquis communautaire? I believe they did/do, but deliberately pull the wool over our eyes.
Heath is now history concerning sovereignty, but little is known about his antics over sugar, New Zealand, and this subject – Fisheries, but he certainly covered up on derogations and made them appear the absolute opposite of what they really were. .
Cameron is doing the same with the acquis communautaire. When he went to Poland recently he gave the attitude of being equal partners.
“Mr Cameron was forced to admit that the two nations have not managed to reach agreement on key elements of his renegotiation plan ahead of the Council Meeting”
Why should they? If a subject that Cameron wants changing is part of the acquis communautaire, Poland can sit back and do nothing. Why should she negotiate away something that is hers by Treaty, a Treaty signed and endorsed by the British Parliament and voted for by Cameron? Heath gave the impression he held the veto to renew a derogation, Cameron gives the impression that he can make another EU member change the acquis communautaire, when that member was obliged to fulfil, without exception, the acquis on joining.
Remember Poland on joining, was in a similar position to Spain, which had a 16-year transitional derogation against her to stop full rights on fishing. Poland had a 7-year derogation against her for the free movements of workers, but the UK, via Westminster MPs, decided to waive it.
During the second reading of the European Union (Accessions) Bill, on 21st. May 2003, that endorsed Poland’s terms, not one MP voted against.
In that debate Michael Ancram said: “We made it clear all along in this House that we believed in accession and wanted enlargement of the European Community. That was the position of the Conservative party and it is exactly what we have said all the way along.”
The Minister for Europe – Denis MacShane said: “I refer to the free movement of workers. Once the 10 new member states are full members of the EU, all EU citizens will be able to travel freely. People will come and go as they please. Those who want to work here must have jobs to go to.”
and The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – Jack Straw said: “It will attract the workers we need in key sectors. It will ensure that they can work here without restrictions and need not be a burden on the public purse. It makes sense financially, as we can focus resources on the real immigration problems, rather than trying to stop EU citizens enjoying normal EU rights.”
What is it about our Prime Ministers, that they appear incapable of telling and acting within the bounds of truth? They happily sign Treaties and legal documents, then want to renege.