The treason upon treason upon treason committed over the past four decades by the unscrupulous and naive in all the main parties is set to be a thing of the past, thanks to the European Union Bill which kicked off in the House of Commons yesterday.
Basically, it would mean that no more sovereignty could pass from the UK to the EU without referenda.
I’m not sure what sovereign powers we still have, but those we do retain will not be able to be given away unless the British people vote to give the unfeasibly corrupt and unaccountable Club of 28 Suckers even more control of our affairs.
Why do I smell a Rattus norvegicus?
Is it because “cast-iron” Cameron is happy to let the EU make as many decisions as possible so he doesn’t have to?
“I know X, Y and Z are unpopular, but we had no choice.”
The Bill is smoke and mirrors. In the worst Blarite tradition, the Coalition is passing a law in order to appear as if they are addressing an issue of concern to voters.
The truth is that this Bill would have done nothing to stop the half dozen further transfers of power – including the creation of pan-EU economic governance – that have taken place since the Coalition government came to power.
One could be forgiven for believing that the Coagulation isn’t exactly overly bothered about who holds the reigns of power. No, that’s unfair. They clearly think the EU should be in charge.
Daniel Hannan isn’t impressed either,
Several readers wonder why I haven’t had anything to say about the Sovereignty Bill, on which MPs will vote tonight. The sorry truth is that I see the whole business as irrelevant.
Why have an abstract debate on whether there might be a referendum on future EU treaties, when we could simply declare that there will be a referendum on the treaty which we know to be coming?
It seems unreal to promise votes on future transfers of power from Westminster to Brussels when we have already made four substantial such transfers since the general election, all without consulting the electorate:…
In Safeguarding Sovereignty: A Bill for UK Constitutional Rights in the EU (2009), Martin Howe (a practising Queen’s Counsel specialising in European law and intellectual property law) writes,
The independence of 26 counties of Ireland had the effect of ending Parliament’s supremacy over part of the territory of the United Kingdom itself.
Secondly, it cannot be denied that Parliament possesses the legal power to transfer its own sovereignty to another body or bodies. The Parliament of the United Kingdom is itself the product the Act of Union with Scotland of 1707 and of the later Act of Union with Ireland. The 1707 Act meant that two previously sovereign and independent Parliaments, the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, ceased to exist and transferred their sovereignty to a new Parliament of the United Kingdom. It follows that the Parliament of the United Kingdom must likewise possess the legal power to transfer its sovereignty to the legislature or constitutional organs of a greater entity, if it were to choose to do so.
I don’t know how the English felt about this at the time, but Robert Burns wrote a poem called Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation (which was turned into a song) about the treachery, as he saw it, of the members of the Scottish Parliament who signed the Act of Union with England.
The situation today regarding the EU is very different.
William Hague wrote the foreword to Howe’s pamphlet when Shadow Foreign Secretary,
Perhaps no unwritten doctrine is more fundamental to the British constitution than the supremacy of Parliament. It has been profoundly affected by the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, yet hitherto British Governments have shied away from addressing the constitutional implications of that impact.
Perhaps it doesn’t need to be written, as we can all recognise a traitor when we see one, yet Hague admits that the supremacy of Parliament has been profoundly affected by us being in the EU.
Surely he is admitting that treason has taken place. Indeed, he goes on to explain (my emphasis),
The Lisbon Treaty has now endowed the EU with a new legal status, further expanded its competences and explicitly affirmed, albeit politically rather than legally, the European Court of Justice’s doctrine of primacy of Union law. This development has made acute the need for constitutional clarity and certainty in the United Kingdom’s application of that doctrine.
Martin Howe’s discussion of the issue in this pamphlet is succinct and eloquent. It should be essential reading for any politician interested in the matter. His argument
that the United Kingdom is constitutionally ‘specially disadvantaged’ demands serious consideration from policy-makers.
Martin Howe concludes that a Sovereignty Bill would ‘put us on a par’ with other EU Member States in guaranteeing our country’s ultimate sovereignty in respect of the EU. The case for such a legal remedy is compelling. As this pamphlet explains, there is a long-term potential problem of a shift in where our courts deem ultimate authority to lie. The time to deal with that potential problem is now.
Both the Lisbon Treaty’s contents and the manner of its ratification in the United Kingdom have weakened the EU’s democratic legitimacy in this country. I hope that after the next general election a Conservative Government will be in a position to sort out the particular but characteristic mess the current Labour Government have made in this area. A Sovereignty Bill, of the kind Martin Howe outlines, will be an important part of that and I am grateful to him for his considered and considerable contribution to the debate on this important question.
What is Hague doing now that he has the power to undo Labour’s characteristic mess? To ensure we are no longer constitutionally ‘specially disadvantaged’? (A recognition of the treason by the previous Administration – why haven’t the Tories brought them to justice? Apart from the fact that some of them are also culpable!) He insists that when [the Bill] becomes an Act this will be the strongest defence of national democracy put in place anywhere in Europe.”
Even if that were true, what about the repatriation of the powers Labour, in particular, gave away?
Bill Cash, the veteran Tory Eurosceptic and chairman of parliament’s European Scrutiny Committee, said the vote represented a “critical test of parliamentary sovereignty” and predicted that “substantial numbers” of Conservative MPs would back his amendments.
As it turned out, Only 39 lawmakers voted for an amendment declaring the sovereignty of the UK parliament in relation to EU laws, while 314 voted against.
He and his fellow rebels protest that plans which are meant to ensure that the public has the final say over proposed transfers of powers to Brussels – through referendums – in fact make the current position worse because it would be the courts that would have the final say over ministers’ decisions on whether to hold a public vote.
Mr Cash warned: “This would not be a massive advance for national democracy. It would be a massive reverse.”
The MP wrote to Mr Cameron on the issue but the Prime Minister’s reply, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, did nothing to answer the rebels’ key demands.
Mr Cameron wrote in the letter, dated 5 Jan: “The political price paid by any future government that sought to take back the powers given to parliament and voters by this Bill would rightly be high and painful.
Except that successive governments have walked all over the people of the UK as far as the EU is concerned.
Nothing less than an in/out referendum is due to us.
Then we will get all those powers back where they belong. And let the parcel of rogues be dealt with accordingly.