Two reasons the EU referendum must be now

referendum

There are two cogent reasons why we need a referendum on our membership of the EU:

1.  The people want it;
2.  It is efficacious and imperative in the context of strategies for withdrawal form the EU.

N1 The people want it

This reason trumps all and the the rest of this article, from N2 onwards, merely comprises constitutional arguments – vital but in no way more important than N1.

Although the framing of polls has been a key bone of contention and much influence has been brought to bear in this area, nevertheless it is possible to gauge the climate of opinion in the UK.  It’s important to understand that none of these polls were in the lead-up to this General Election but they are still quite indicative of the wish of people to have a say and to have it now.

We can throw in the  Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll [Methodology: Online interviews with 2,000 British adults, conducted from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, 2009. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent]:

# If the Conservatives form the next government, there should be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty 46%
# If the Conservatives form the next government, there should not be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty 22%
# Not sure 32%

Instead, we get the Five-Yearist strategy [for an explanation of this term, see reply in comments to Roger Thornhill‘s question] shared by the Tory and LPUK leaderships [as distinct from the party line in the latter case] and the flat-out refusal by Labour and the Lib-Dems to countenance or support a referendum.  When challenged on this, party leaders tend to offer this sort of explanation  and I quote directly from one UK party leader:

You tedious little cunt.   Get a grip, Higham. God knows I try to ignore your piss-poor writing, your godawful conspiracy theories and your inane witterings.

In that you see the mindset of the Five-Yearists “trying to ignore” what the people want.  They know better than the people, they are engaged in “practical politics” and you nobodies out there [in the proportions shown at the end of the poll list link above, meaning the ordinary concerned citizen], mean little in their eyes.

This is pure elitism of the worst kind and because most parties are engaging in it, we, the public, are caught between deep anger and resentment and the knowledge that there is almost nobody to vote for.

An MEP’s opinion –  Mike Nattrass FRICS MEP:

“Certain MPs say they are Eurosceptic yet this lie is just a vote catching golden egg, only dusted off and brought out at elections.  Leaving the EU is not in their real agenda and they refuse to sign BOO.  I know what they say about “If it walks like a duck” but it just shows you what happens when you say BOO to a Goose.”

Damian Thompson:

Friday’s New Statesman carries a ComRes poll that will make interesting reading for David Cameron. Three quarters of his prospective parliamentary candidates want to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with Europe “as a matter of priority”. And 91 per cent favour a cap on immigration. Meanwhile, only 28 per cent believe that the next government should legislate to make people behave in a “greener” way.

N2 It is efficacious

Obviously, this is more difficult to explain in a simple way.  In a nutshell, the problem is that there is such a plethora of legislation both UK, EU and going back to the Acts of Settlement, that it’s a constitutional nightmare and the pundit who says we have every right to unilaterally withdraw and stand as a sovereign nation is correct.

So is the pundit who says it is impossible for a Sovereign Act in the UK Parliament to stand up as a legally binding expression of the will of the country.  Why this is, is explained below.  The Referendum Act 1975 provided for an “in or out” Referendum but since that time, the power of referendum has not been used and thus the ECA 1972 has been the primacy authority, along with EU law which becomes UK Law at between 60-80% of all legislation, depending on the authority you quote.

In the very act of not putting referenda, precedent has therefore not been set in a national UK context, whilst at the same time, precedent is being set at an alarming rate in an EU context and thus, in a court of law, as precedent is the essential source, any national argument is progressively weakened by failure to ascertain the will of the people, except in the context of a General Election which, as you know, has zero to do with mandate, especially in the context of a hung parliament.

Furthermore, because the Lisbon Treaty is a self-amending text there is serious reason to suppose that an attempt to unwind amendments made within the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty will be subject to challenge in the courts, unless of course the Referendum was expressed to be “notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972” with an obligation on the judiciary to construe the Referendum Act accordingly.

This “lack of specific provision” has been and still is an enormous impediment to non-referendum supported withdrawal.

Let’s start with David Davis, from  4th November 2009:

Referendums terrify the European Commission and the political elites who run Europe. They are clear statements of the popular will. They force issues to be stated in clear and unambiguous terms. They are impossible to ignore.

That is why the European reaction to referendums is to make concessions. Look at the history. After Ireland’s first rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council conceded legally binding protocols pledging to keep the treaty out of taxation policy, family and social issues (such as the right to life, abortion and euthanasia), and Ireland’s traditional military neutrality.

Denmark has obtained similar opt-outs after a referendum, and the defeat in the French and Dutch referendums led to the rewrite of the original European Constitution.

So referendums are incredibly powerful weapons. What is more, they are necessary if a single nation is going to achieve any material change.

The Europeans are past masters at the permanent negotiation that makes up the federal project. They know all the tricks of isolation, pressure, delay, coalition, vague language, and institutional and judicial expansion.

They are entirely capable of repackaging rejected ideas over and over until they get them accepted. Lisbon is a good example of this. Indeed they are capable of retabling a rejected proposal five or ten years later, after the relevant national governments have changed.

This latter has been covered in a series of articles in my sidebar and by many writers more au fait with the intricacies of EU machinations.  One can only research so much in a given time frame.  Essentially, the message is that we are not operating on a level playing field but are engaging with an enemy which is hellbent on subsuming powers for the EU for purposes outside the scope of this article to go into.

Ann Winterton MP:

“Although no Parliament at Westminster can bind its successor, the European Union operates differently and has no reverse gear.  The United Kingdom is propelled into ever deeper integration against the wishes of its people.  Leaving is the only way to stop this process.”

This process is now accelerating and over 1100 EU laws are awaiting the result of the UKGE for introduction, most nibbling away at the sovereign right of the UK Parliament to legislate on such matters free of EU influence.

Phillip Johnston reports:

Researchers sifted through more than 2,000 of the UK government’s impact assessments for regulatory proposals and found that 72 per cent of the cost of regulation over the last ten years is EU-derived.

EU legislation does bind UK governments in practical ways.  Take equality legislation, for example:

The EU has instructed the UK to end exemptions to equality laws that allow religious employers to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation. This came via a “reasoned opinion” sent to the UK on Friday for “incorrectly implementing” EU rules prohibiting discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation in employment or occupation.

Even a series of “recommendations” which have never not been implemented, so their constitutional power is largely irrelevant in terms of what is happening.

Constitutional power

When we start getting into this, we are left confused.  Let’s start with the famous Lord Pearson of Rannoch opinion:

Article 5(2) of the Treaty on European Union (consolidated version following the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009):

In areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community shall take action, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community.

A more descriptive analysis of the principle can be found in Protocol 30 to the European Community Treaty .

Against this is the new definition of National Parliaments:

National parliaments – The glossary is being updated given the recent signing of the Treaty of Lisbon [2010].

The Conference of European Community Affairs Committees (COSAC), consisting of representatives from relevant committees of the national parliaments and Members of the European Parliament, has met every six months since 1989.

With the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, the European Union acquired competence in areas which had traditionally been a national preserve, such as justice and home affairs. For this reason, the importance of exchanges between national parliaments and the European Parliament was underlined in a declaration on the role of national parliaments in the European Union.

This definition is in the context of provisions of these treaties:

* the ECSC Treaty of 1951 (Treaty of Paris)
* the EEC Treaty of 1957 (Treaty of Rome, Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)
* the EURATOM Treaty of 1957 (Treaty of Rome)
* the Merger Treaty of 1965
* the Acts of Accession of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark (1972)
* the Budgetary Treaty of 1970
* the Budgetary Treaty of 1975
* the Act of Accession of Greece (1979)
* the Acts of Accession of Spain and Portugal (1985)
* the Single European Act of 1986
* the Treaty of Maastricht of 1992 (Treaty on European Union)
* the Acts of Accession of Austria, Sweden and Finland (1994)
* the Treaty of Amsterdam of 1997
* the Treaty of Nice of 2001
* the Treaty of Accession 2003
* the Treaty of Accession 2005
* the Treaty of Lisbon of 2007

It has been ruled many times by the European Court of Justice that EC (European Community-first pillar) law is superior to national laws. Where a conflict arises between EC law and the law of a Member State, EC law takes precedence, so that the law of a Member State must be disapplied. This doctrine, known as the supremacy of EC law, emerged from the European Court of Justice in Costa v ENEL.

Example:

Article 1-1.6: Establishes the EU as a country with a legal personality and gives it the right to negotiate interenational treaties.

Article 17.1: If the EU decides that the Constitution does not give it the powers to do what it wants, it may take the appropriate measures to give itself the powers that it requires.

Article III 62: European law shall lay down measures for the harmonisation of legislation concerning turnover taxes, excise duties and other forms of indirect taxation.

A separate protoocol says that if national Parliaments representing one third of the votes object to a proposal of the Commission, the Commission shall review its proposal. After such a review the Commission may decide to maintain, amend or withdraw its proposal.

The Lord Chancellor’s opinion:

The Lord Chancellor continued, “All EU regulations and directives have to be read in the context of the European Communities Act, which expressly provides that all EU statutes should be construed and have effect subject to the provisions in the 1972 Act giving Community law primacy in our legal system.”

With reference to the Factortame case, which rested upon the 1988 Merchant Shipping Act, the Lord Chancellor pointed out, “That was enough, in the absence of a clear provision in the 1988 Act overriding the 1972 Act, to reverse the rule that, in a conflict between two Acts of Parliament, the later takes precedence. Accordingly the English court correctly proceeded on the basis that Parliament did not intend to override Community law in passing the Merchant Shipping Act. It is open to Parliament expressly to override the 1972 Act and, if it did so, the courts would be bound to give effect to this, even though that might be a breach of obligations under the Community treaties.”

Exactly the same legality applies to the 1985 Weights and Measures Act. If it had included a provision deliberately over-riding any EU law to the contrary then the traders would have won. For example, if it had included a phrase to the effect “regardless of any provision of community law to the contrary and notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972” then the Appeal would have been upheld.

At least this case has made it crystal clear that EU law, including all the regulations and directives which come into force, are automatically the supreme law of the land, courtesy of the extraordinary 1972 European Communities Act.

Lord Denning in 1979:

“If the time should come when Parliament deliberately passes an Act with the intention of repudiating the Treaty, or any provision in it, or intentionally of acting inconsistently with it and says so in express terms then I should have thought that it would be the duty of our courts to follow the statute of our Parliament.   I do not however envisage any such situation… Unless there is such an intentional and express repudiation of the Treaty, it is our duty to give priority to the Treaty.”

The European Union Amendment Act, in accordance with our constitutional requirements as enacted, adds the Treaty to the list of treaties under Section 1 of the European Communities Act 1972, clearly recognising its continued existence. This Act provides that the Treaty becomes enforceable United Kingdom law. The actual provisions of the Treaty, however obscure, become the law of the United Kingdom through Section 2(1) ECA 1972 and, under Section 3 ECA 1972, fall to be enforced by the courts of the United Kingdom.

All the judgements made by our courts in respect of the individual treaties, and bearing in mind that Lisbon consolidates them all, refer to the provisions of the Treaty in question – thus no one has ever suggested before that the Lisbon Treaty or any other European treaty no longer exists.

The problem has arisen that the textbook doctrine of the supremacy of Parliament has been severely eroded in practice since 1972, particularly since the Maastricht Treaty, which created European government, and now the Lisbon Treaty:

An effective Sovereignty Act, which is to be welcomed, would deal with what is described as “a danger that over time” that our courts will come to regard ultimate authority as resting with the EU. This is because in the context of the Lisbon Treaty the declaration of primacy is included as a guide to our courts, as with other member states, as to where the sovereignty actually lies and not only over our laws but also over our constitution.

Declaration 17 restates the case law referred to below, but also as further guidance of the courts (otherwise, it would not be there) states that “The Conference has also decided to attach as an annex to this final Act the opinion of the Council Legal Service of the primacy of EC law (11197/07(JUR260).”

This emphasises that “it follows that the law stemming from the Treaty, an independent source of law, could not, because of its special and original nature, be overridden by domestic legal provisions, however framed, without being deprived of its character as Community law and without the legal basis of the Community itself being called into question.”

However:

As to amending the European Communities Act 1972, a Sovereignty Bill drafted properly would include prohibiting the transfer of power (including by reference to existing laws and assertions of EU law overriding our constitution) to the EU without a Referendum. In any case, there is already a prohibition, under the European Elections Act 1978, to increase the powers of the European Parliament without the specific endorsement of the UK Parliament.

The Human Rights Act 1998 made the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) part of the UK national law. Prior to this the courts could only take the ECHR into account in domestic proceedings in very limited circumstances.

However:

The Act provides only a weak incorporation of the Convention into UK law. Section 19 of the Act tells us that all future legislation must contain a declaration of compatibility with the ECHR, thereby showing that the legislation is not intended to contravene the Convention, and giving effect to EC law.

Section 3 of the Act says that so far as it is possible all primary and subordinate legislation should be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the ECHR. This applies to both future and past legislation. However, if it is not possible to interpret legislation in line with the Convention then the UK law prevails.

However:

By section 6 of the Act it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a manner contrary to the Convention.

There is a whole line of ECJ cases, which goes back to Costa, Van Gend, Handelsgesellschaft and Simmenthal, all of which contain the most explicit assertions by the ECJ which under Sections 2 and 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 have lacked only the endorsement of primacy since the treaties commenced.

What the European Court has asserted has now been endorsed in Declaration 17 in its application to the consolidating Lisbon Treaty and is therefore now open to interpretation and judgement by our own courts as against our own Parliamentary sovereignty.

Take the Coal and Steel Industry:

Since the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community under the Treaty of Paris in 1951, no member state has ever left the European Union or its predecessor bodies.

To date, there has been no formal mechanism for a member state to do so. Nonetheless, in 1982, Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark and not a member state as such – did leave the EU, following massive opposition to the common fisheries policy and growing demands for home rule.

However, the draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe, published in June 2003 by the convention on the future of Europe, does make explicit provision for how a member state could go about leaving the EU.

Article 59 says a member state must first inform the European council, which will produce guidelines under which the “Union” (the EU Commission) will negotiate a withdrawal agreement. This agreement is then subject to approval by the European parliament and the council of ministers.

The EU relies on the concept of Implied Repeal:

In 1934, the Court of Appeal held in Ellen Street Estates Ltd. v. Minister of Health [1934] that if an Act of Parliament “appeared inconsistent with previous legislation, the previous legislation must give way” (Loveland, p. 34). The effect of this was that legal statutes were to be impliedly repealed once new statutes that came into existence contradicted previous ones.

In addition, such a decision was not inconsistent with an orthodox understanding of Parliamentary Sovereignty, as it allowed subsequent Parliaments to repeal (absolutely) the Acts of their predecessors whenever and wherever they saw fit.

Thoburn v Sunderland CC:

In Thoburn v. Sunderland City Council [2002], Laws L.J. held that constitutional statutes fall within a special category that is immune to implied repeal.

Laws L.J.’s judgement, that constitutional statutes fall in a special category and can only be repealed using express language, provisions or wording that outline such a desire, is completely oblivious to the political reality that dictates that Parliament can easily circumvent this ineffective and judge-imposed restriction.

The United Kingdom passed the European Communities Act (henceforth the ECA) in 1972, thereby making possible the legal entry into the European Community, as it was then known. The most relevant consequence of this act, inter alia, was the subsequent perceived transfer of sovereignty from London to Brussels; it should however be noted that the United Kingdom has only given up sovereignty in those legal areas that are covered by European Community Treaties.

However, H.W.R. Wade argues that with the passing of the ECA, the parliament of 1972 bound future parliaments and that this was nothing but revolutionary (Wade, pg. 3).

Mr Eugenides argues that the Sovereignty Act is sufficient and here is a further opinion on that:

The legal doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty, as proposed by the Oxford professor A V Dicey, normatively stipulates that past parliaments cannot bind futures; that predecessors cannot negotiate on behalf of their successors.

Dicey’s theory can be further broken down into two main components, namely the positive and negative branches of Parliamentary Sovereignty. The former branch or the “positive limb” asserts that Parliament is capable of making (read: positing) or unmaking any law that it wishes, as no other sovereign body exists to legally prevent it from doing so.

In addition, the “negative limb” of Dicey’s theory adds that the legality of Acts of Parliament cannot be challenged in any legal court” (Loveland, pg. 24). Furthermore, while a second theory of Parliamentary Sovereignty is said to exist in the United Kingdom, namely that Parliament is “self-embracing” and can subsequently bind itself and future parliaments, constitutional commentators like Ian Loveland have argued that such a theory “has had no political effect in this country” (Loveland, pg. 37).

That’s as maybe but it does not take into account the moves to eliminate the concept of the UK itself [see below].  Not only that but in order for a Sovereignty Act to work, in the context of the plethora of other legislation, there must be three preconditions:

1.  There must still be a UK in practical terms;
2.  There must be a specific overriding clause inserted in the bill.  Governments in the UK have consistently failed to do that;
3.  There must be a set of written laws, e.g. a constitution, to provide an updated national directive on these matters of sovereignty.

Al of those are in a negative state at this time and do not look likely to be resolved for the better.  It s precisely because the constitutional area is so contradictory and because of the ability of the EU to utilize this to further entangle the question of withdrawal that a referendum would be a simple expedient which would carry weight in a UK context – it’s a different thing ignoring a UK result to ignoring an Irish result.

Act now!

Five Yearists say we would not win a vote to withdraw.  Yes we would – see the climate of opinion at the end of the link further up in the article.  That opinion is NOW, not in five years.

No one is saying that the framing of the question is not critical – it is – and who frames the question is the most critical of all.  One can see the Five Yearist fear but there are far greater fears if this thing is left a moment longer.

In five years, whatever is done to reestablish sovereignty is done in the context of massive EU loans and promises [as they did the second time in Ireland] to sway opinion away from Euroscepticism.  People see as far as the hip-pocket.  There is sufficient money available from the Club of Rome/BIS etc. sources to carry the UK until a 2015 election.

And who bases a policy, in a currently volatile political situation on what might happen five years down the track, given the EU plans for the former UK?  Surely crystal balling like that is just as “conspiracy theory” as anything the writer of this article is being accused of?

Now is the time to strike, in this next hung parliament, not after the EU and IMF pump in bailout money to get the UK economy working again.

Opinion:

A further dilemma lies with whether or not future British courts will be able to find an Act of Parliament that intends to abrogate the ECA and therefore the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union (as per the Treaty of Maastricht 1991), to be legal under EU law. In Costa v. ENEL (1964), the European Court of Justice (henceforth the ECJ) established the supremacy of EU law over domestic law.

Furthermore, in 1990, the ECJ in Factortame (No. 2), affirmed Costa and, after the House of Lords deferred the question of whether British courts could disapply acts of Parliament in those cases in which such acts are incompatible with EU law(s), returned an answer in the affirmative, namely that the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 was to be struck down.

Until the United Kingdom Parliament decides to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and exit from the European Union (Black-Branch, pg. 79), an Act that can only be undertaken within a framework of Parliamentary Sovereignty, it will continue to be the supreme lawmaker, insofar as it has accepted to be bound by the decisions of the ECJ in those areas that it has, by virtue of incorporating according Treaties into domestic law (read: a positive act of sovereignty), agreed to transfer sovereignty to Brussels.

Regional breakup of the UK

You won’t find mentioned anywhere in the EU documentation about the UK being specifically broken up but the net effect of other initiatives leads to precisely such a breakup.  Leaving aside the devolution of the three home countries, there is sufficient evidence elsewhere:

The Committee of the Regions:

The governance methods will be reinforced to ensure that commitments are translated into effective action on the ground. The Commission will monitor progress. Reporting and evaluation under both Europe 2020 and the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) will be carried out simultaneously (while remaining distinct instruments) to improve coherence. This will allow both strategies to pursue similar reform objectives while remaining as separate instruments.

On 26 March 2010, the European Council agreed on the key elements of the new strategy. President Herman Van Rompuy who chaired the meeting pointed out that the strategy sums up the European model of social market economy with a strong environmental dimension

Or this from the documentation:

The Treaties oblige the European Commission and Council to consult the Committee of the Regions whenever new proposals are made in areas that have repercussions at regional or local level. The Treaty on European Union set out 5 such areas – economic and social cohesion, trans-European infrastructure networks, health, education and culture. The Amsterdam Treaty added another five areas to the list – employment policy, social policy, the environment, vocational training and transport – which now covers much of the scope of the EU’s activity.

Outside these areas, the Commission, Council and European Parliament have the option to consult the CoR on issues if they see important regional or local implications to a proposal. The CoR can also draw up an opinion on its own initiative, which enables it to put issues on the EU agenda. On certain issues it works in partnership with the Economic and Social Committee (EESC or EcoSoC).

The CoR has gained the right (privileged status) to approach the European Court of Justice now that Treaty of Lisbon (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU) has entered into force following ratification by all EU Member States (Article 8, Protocol (No. 2) on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality

The EPP:

The EPP Group is a major political pillar in the Committee of the Regions, making it the driving force for strengthening and increasing the role and influence of local and regional authorities in the EU decision-making process.

Binding or not binding?

The Commission and the Council must consult the Committee of the Regions on topics of direct relevance to local and regional authorities, but they can also consult the Committee whenever they wish. For its part, the Committee can adopt opinions on its own initiative and present them to the Commission, Council and Parliament.

Check this on the union of regions.

All of this is ongoing and picking up pace as the UKGE approaches.  Another way of using regionalization is to combine part of the UK with part of another country, say France, in an administrative division and this complicates law pertaining to this economic area:

Under the programme, known as INTER-REG, counties along England’s south coast form the “Manche Region” along with northern France.  The “Atlantic Region” takes in western England, along with Ireland, Wales and parts of Portugal, Spain, France and Scotland.

Meanwhile eastern England is part of the “North Sea Region”, which covers areas of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands.  The UK Government is fully behind the project, even though the words “England” and “Britain” are left off official maps of each area and the Manche Region renames the English Channel “The Channel Sea”.

Each region, which will be given taxpayers’ money to promote trade links, cultural ties, transport policies and tourism, is to be run by a “managing authority” of unelected officials overseen by a director.  None will be based in the UK, with Manche ruled by the French, Atlantic by the Portuguese and North Sea by the Danes.

The regions have legal status and Manche has a budget of £261million between 2007 and 2013, Atlantic £127 million and North Sea £219million.  Every project funded by a region must have a publicity campaign which ensures “there is provision for flying the EU flag at least one week every year”.

Subsidiarity

This is a major executive method of the EU in consolidating power.  they simply bypass the national parliament and go straight to regional negotiations in key areas:

The principle of subsidiarity is defined in Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. It is intended to ensure that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that constant checks are made as to whether action at Community level is justified in the light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level.

Specifically, it is the principle whereby the Union does not take action (except in the areas which fall within its exclusive competence) unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level. It is closely bound up with the principles of proportionality and necessity, which require that any action by the Union should not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaty.

The great danger is that many conservative policies, e.g. on the police, favour an increasing localization and this thrust is also supported by the left, for reasons of subsidiarity.

The damage to us of remaining in

Matthew Elliott, of the TPA ,says, on this:

The EU’s policies on food production have been particularly disastrous. The Common Fisheries Policy has had a horrendous impact economically, socially and environmentally. Almost 100,000 jobs have been lost in fishing and dependent industries, leading to increased social security bills in devastated fishing communities.

The Bruges Group [2008]:

The European Union is costing Britain a staggering £106,000 a minute, a think-tank has revealed. As the UK teeters on the brink of what experts predict will be the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Government has surrendered £55.8billion to Brussels this year. £900 for every man, woman and child in the country.

Wat Tyler brings it to you in all its ignominy.  And some reasons.  And if you think it is UK specific, think again:

Never mind that we are stoney broke, the arrogant unelected clown masquarading as our PM has just blown another £1.5bn of our money in an attempt to buy himself some international status:

“At an EU summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister offered to pay the money into an EU fund intended to help poorer countries to cut their carbon emissions.

The offer will make Britain the largest contributor. France and Germany each promised around £1.2 billion to the EU fund, which will be worth around £6.5 billion in all.”

6.8 billion wasted on Green Propaganda and so on.

Summarizing

That’s only the financial cost.  Then we get onto the social legislation which proceeds apace.  It is not only because the people want it but also because of the hazy constitutionality which is being exploited by the EU, as well as the lack of UK precedent in order to contest the erosion of sovereignty, that we cannot possibly wait 5 years.

At best, it must be begun within 3  months of the new parliament and at latest 1 calendar year, most certainly before the 2012 Olympics.

Bona Fides

The writer’s bona fides have been called into question by one party leader and a Labour Minister.  You can judge for yourself whether the above holds any water in your mind or whether it is merely “piss-poor writing, … godawful conspiracy theories and … inane witterings.

The reader can also draw his/her own conclusions as to the mindset and the value to be placed on the utterances of politicos who resort to that kind of argument to make their case.

Finally

Who in their right mind could support continued EU membership for England?

10 comments for “Two reasons the EU referendum must be now

  1. April 9, 2010 at 15:26

    That’s it? More disingenuous conflation of my personal opinon with party policy?

    You are pathetic, Higham: you really are.

    DK

  2. April 9, 2010 at 15:47

    Explain “five yearist (sic) strategy”

    • April 9, 2010 at 16:54

      Roger, the Five Yearists maintain that to give the people a referendum within one year will lead to a poorly formulated question slipping through [especially if it was by Labour].

      e.g. A Tory question might be: “Do you believe that the UK should at least have some powers repatriated to our own country?” and a Labour question might be, “Do you believe that the prosperity and welfare of this nation is best served by strong trading relations with our EU partners?”

      Once the poor question was put and passed, then the pro-EU group has its mandate and the chance of the real in/out question being put is then practically zero. So, best to wait five years and just before the next election, claw back some powers from the EU.

      The flaws are:

      1. Is there to be a UK by then or is the EU dealing with regions?
      2. The EU has never conceded any powers – quite the opposite;
      3. They are flooding the playing field with legislation to swamp any clear constitutional chance to apply a Sovereignty Bill and any such bill would be multi-level challenged, on good grounds;
      4. Meanwhile they are closing loopholes with the regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions, all of which have been shown, in test cases, to have binding force, as interpreted by the UK govt;
      5. To repeal the ECA cannot be done in a year [a Five Yearist argument];
      6. Expatriation of powers is meanwhile continuing – every month there are more;
      7. Even if we could technically amend the ECA1972 or even apply the Sovereignty Bill with an override clause built in, even if there were to be a back up draft constitution of the UK, it still must overcome three hurdles:

      a] the lack of any politician willing to drive it forward and the suspension of the tyranny of the whips in doing this – that takes agreement;
      b] nobbling, sabotage, obfuscation and bribery by the EU [cf. Ireland Lisbon 2];
      c] money. This country owes to groups who run Europe – the IMF and BIS are not unknown to each other. We are delicately poised in our burgeoning debt and it only needs the writedown-bailout carrot/foreclose stick dichotomy to pull proponents of the bill in line.

      The Five Yearists have an argument but it doesn’t take into account all these factors and at the end of the day [sorry for that], is it better to be bold early or to pfaff around later, attempting to claw back powers in a stacked game? How can we even know the situation down the track? Everyone and his dog sees himself as a forecaster but things are so volatile at this moment and the proposed fix-it measures so draconian.

      I maintain that a bad question cannot be put this time round because the electorate is more au fait now than earlier on this specific issue. All hell would break loose if a PM tried to put a dud question. Also, look at the mood in all those polls.

  3. April 9, 2010 at 16:10

    That’s your view, DK, I have mine. I’m happy to stand or fall by what people think of the material set out by both of us. One observation, if I may – in this whole thing you never deleted any comment of mine and I never deleted any of yours.

    It went by the Queensberry Rules. Now, let’s get onto more important things.

  4. April 9, 2010 at 18:50

    James,

    Not agreeing with your hope of a good question does NOT make one what you call a “Five Yearist”, for that is a false dichotomy.

    What needs to be done to ensure the question is good, should be the discussion, not attaching labels.

  5. April 9, 2010 at 19:49

    At last, my first civil commenter today – something must have disagreed with the other one. 🙂

    What makes a Five Yearist is not the question but the presumption that the referendum is not efficacious, when not only is it efficacious, in terms of the constitutional difficulties but it does not shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. It tackles the problem late but not too late.

    There is no doubt, Roger, that those driving the EU integration, though they are still arguing among themselves, are certainly stepping up the transfer of powers and this is a cumulative, rather than diminishing, phenomenon. Witness the way the EU is poised to hit our hedge funds after the election.

    The sooner we can get the question put to the people, the better for all around. Also, if there were a referendum and it went against the Eurosceptics, then that would be the end of that – it would shut us up. I think people just want the chance, the opportunity to have a say.

  6. April 9, 2010 at 20:31

    Witness the way the EU is poised to hit our hedge funds after the election</b.

    They are already leaving, James. Tax base is fast vanishing.

    Well done you one eyed git. Hope you rot in hell.

  7. April 10, 2010 at 08:59
  8. May 10, 2010 at 19:36

    Who was it that said that to you? which party leader exactly?
    There is no reason why should stand there and take that no matter who they are! Honestly the guy wouldn’t say that to me well, he could try … who was it? (prays its not D.C)

    As for DEVILS BATHROOM or whatever you call yourself; well actually i would opt for devils bathroom because your full of…….
    How about putting forward an actual argument.
    If you can’t do that then you my friend, are the pathetic one.
    Try and support your statements before running into the blogosphere for cover.
    Just as your brain couldn’t function for long enough to attempt to write something like James just has, doesn’t mean to say you can take it out on him.
    Be gone and write comments at will but be careful now take some migraine tablets with you because its probably going to hurt.

    Anyway…..
    The problem is that you are reaching out to the mp’s and not spending enough time letting everyone else know.
    There are so many people out there that either have no idea of what the E.U can do , what a referendum is or how to achieve it.
    So i would advise you to concentrate more on getting the word out to the public then, you will have a much larger force behind you to approach the mp’s with.
    They are more likely to listen with a larger group than with just you guys (no offense meant).
    I have let Boris know though so you never know 🙂

  9. May 10, 2010 at 20:49

    The problem is that you are reaching out to the mp’s and not spending enough time letting everyone else know.

    Yes, we addressed that this weekend just gone. With you in there fighting:

    Honestly the guy wouldn’t say that to me well, he could try … who was it?

    … who needs fear anything?

    It was Hain.

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