Saturday, June 23, 2007

The great EU deception

Put 27 prime ministers in a room, add expensive mineral water and a lot of hot air, and what do you get? A treaty featuring much of what the French and Dutch told them to swivel on two years ago.
I'm no hater of mainland Europe, in fact I've spent a large part of my life there. Free trade, the single currency and freedom of movement of people and capital between EU member states is brilliant. But the people don't want political power going to Brussels. Read the papers, listen to the media. The Germans don't. The Spanish don't. The French don't. The Dutch don't. The British don't, and the people of Éire don't. Harmonisation, yes. Federalisation, no.
The British and Irish people voted to join the European Economic Community, not the EU superstate our political élite have been turning it into by stages over the last 20 years. And we, the people, have let them do it. We've turned a blind eye, treating it all as "something over there" that doesn't affect us. Well, wake up: it does.
If the latest treaty is ratified by national parliaments it'll be the last one that is. Under its terms, all future EU constitutional changes - and this is a constitution by the back door - will need but a "double majority": 55% of states representing 65% of the total population. National vetoes will all but disappear, and the EU will have a long-term president à la USA and a bod called the High Representative for Foreign Affairs (an EU foreign minister in all but name).
Have you been consulted on this? No. The French and Dutch were consulted, and they slammed the constitution out of court more decisively than anything else since the war.
Despite this, these heads of government have decided to go ahead with a Constitution Lite without consulting anyone this time, proving that they've become a law unto themselves, beyond accountability. Yes, they are elected by the people, but the people vote on domestic issues, and frankly whatever major party is elected they all go off to Brussels and get bitten by the EU bug. We elect these guys to represent our national interests, yet they're intent on ceding matters of national sovereignty to the grey men of Europe's greyest national capital. Did you know that no one in Brussels is elected by the people?
It's time the people spoke. We must demand national referenda and hold these runaway politicians to account.


At 5:42 a.m., Anonymous Imagine_all_the_people said...

"We must demand national referenda and hold these runaway politicians to account."

LOL too late, dude, it's practically a done deal already... an ever closer union is --and will be-- the reality.

And it shall have the full backing and support of the US.

The EU rocks!

At 2:30 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually BU, the citizens of the Republic got to vote on every single treaty that amended the Constitution. Even if they had to do it twice to get the Nice answer right. It's the benefit of living in a Republic with a written Constitution.

At 2:52 p.m., Anonymous beano said...

Are the Republic getting a vote on this one?

At 7:00 p.m., Blogger O'Neill said...

The Spanish don't.

The Spanish voted "yes" first time round, albeit on a low turnout.
And "Brussels" is elected, or least the parliament is and if you wanted euro-sceptic MEPS you could have voted for UKIP on the mainland, Jim Allister in NI.

I'm sure we will have a referendum; I'm also sure that the right-wing europhobe press and bloggers (not including you here obviously!) will turn it into a question far away from that which is contained in the proposed treaty, it'll be a euro-halloween with scare stories flying in left, right and centre.

At 11:10 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are the Republic getting a vote on this one?"

It isn't a question. The treaty affects the Constitution, therefore there MUST be a referendum.

Seriously, Republics > Constitutional Monarchies.

At 11:51 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

O'Neill, Brussels is not elected. The European Parliament sits in Strasbourg and is the most unproductive ball of hot air this side of the Sahara. In practice it has little or no effect on what gets decided at the European Commission in Brussels. The commissioners are appointed by the member states' governments (usually jobs for failed or disgraced national politicians like Peter Mandelson or Leon Brittan), and the commissioners' departments are staffed by, literally, countless civil servants who spend 25 years measuring bananas before retiring on fat packages and consultancy retainers. The link between what the EU executive and democratic accountability is so weak as to be non-existent. And that, if I may say so, is worrying beyond words.

At 8:19 a.m., Blogger O'Neill said...

The European Parliament sits in Strasbourg and is the most unproductive ball of hot air this side of the Sahara.

The European Parliament, which is elected by the voter of Europe, has two meeting places -at the "Espace Léopold" complex in Brussels and in Immeuble Louise Weiss in Strasbourg.

The link between what the EU executive and democratic accountability is so weak as to be non-existent

I'd have to agree with you on that one, but f voters in the various EU countries got off their backsides and actually voted for those parties who want to change the various system, them maybe things would improve. We get the politicians and political system we deserve -look at the joke unfolding at Stormont if you want another example.

At 10:39 a.m., Anonymous Reg said...

The democratic deficit is worrying. However, I'd nearly prefer the current system where the elected Govts bash out deals in the Council and have the unelected Commission come up with the policy details as opposed to the EP, with its ridiculously low turnouts being the accountable face of the EU.

I know people will say: when the EP has real power then voters will take it seriously. I don't believe that. It is so far removed from local/national issues that it will still be ignored.

Also, giving the EP such power is the beginning of an EU super-state. I think Ireland and Britain are united against going that far.


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