Monday, June 25, 2007

More contitutional news

In two recent polls, over 80% of the British people wanted a referendum on the EU.
Open Europe have commissioned an ICM poll of 1,000 people that shows overwhelming support for a referendum:
  • 86% of all voters want their say on a new transfer of powers to the EU;

  • 83% of Labour voters want a referendum, as do 88% of Lib-Dem and Tory voters;

  • 43% of Labour voters say they will be “definitely less likely” to vote for Brown if he denies the British people a referendum;

  • 65% of all voters told ICM that they would vote against a new treaty that transfers additional powers to the EU;

  • Given a three way choice, only 15% of voters would support more powers for the EU. 49% supported less powers for the EU.

A poll by Populus for Global Vision puts support for a referendum at 83%.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair maintains that the new treaty is "good for UK".
Mr Blair said the most important thing about the deal was that it allowed the 27 European nations to move forward.

"The truth is we've been arguing now for many years about the constitutional question," he said.

"This deal gives us a chance to move on. It gives us a chance to concentrate on the issues to do with the economy, organised crime, terrorism, immigration, defence, climate change, the environment, energy - the problems that really concern citizens in Europe."

How would you know what the people of Europe think, you lying fuck? You could only get into power with less 22% of the British electorate voting for you: how the fuck would you know what 450 million people are really concerned about?

The Tories seem to have grown a wee bit of spine.
But shadow foreign secretary William Hague said the government had "absolutely no democratic mandate" to push through the changes that had been made.

"Blair and Brown have signed up to major shifts of power from Britain to the EU and major changes in the way the EU works," Mr Hague said.

"The EU would now be able to sign treaties in its own right and, despite any 'opt-ins', the European Commission and Court of Justice would now have new powers over criminal law."

Mr Hague also said the lack of a referendum on the treaty was a "flagrant breach of a solemn election promise" and that this showed Mr Brown had "no intention of being straight forward" with the people of the UK.

Hague, my little poppet, you had no democratic mandate to push through the Maastricht Treaty, but that didn't stop the Conservatives doing so. Why will the Tories not promise a referendum on our membership of the EU?

But at least the Tories are on the right side: the LibDems also criticised Blair—for not going far enough.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said the treaty had not come "cost-free" for Britain.

"By opting out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, there is now the danger of a two-tier citizenship in the EU," Mr Campbell said.

The LibDems want to give even more power to the EU than Blair! Absolutely fucking extraordinary.

As usual, Farage spells it out clearly.
The leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, accused Mr Blair of "stealth and deceit".

"The real achievement of this summit - and Tony Blair's helped in this - is that the European Union itself has taken a significant step forward to becoming the global superpower that it always sought to be," he said.

Speaking plain sense, as usual.
The treaty will need to be ratified by each of the EU's member states at the end of the year, before entering into force in mid-2009.

Goodbye right to jury trial, goodbye habeas corpus, goodbye presumption of innocence, goodbye economic autonomy, goodbye freedom and goodbye Britain: we are being sold down the river by venal politicians of every stripe.

Fuck, I loathe them all so very, very much.


Z said...

It seems to me that the only reason that the government might not want to put it to a referendum is that they are pretty sure they would lose it. Which, of course, they would.

Nosemonkey said...

Much interpretation for me to disagree with there (no surprises) - but a quick, largely irrelevant one, because I still don't know where it comes from: what is it with this eurosceptic insistence that the presumption of innocence is somehow not a part of the mainland European legal system? It was an essential part of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), plus is a vital part of both the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (to which every EU member state is a signatory).

There's plenty of other stuff to quibble over in the anti-EU interpretation of the new treaty guidelines, I'm just intrigued why that one keeps coming back time and again when it's a total nonsense.

(Oh, and you also forgot this poll, which may well back up the popular support for a referendum, but also strongly suggests that the vast majority haven't got a clue what it's all about...)

Mark Wadsworth said...

I dunno, as depressing as this all is, maybe at least it's good for UKIP for the EU to be back on the agenda?

Roger Thornhill said...

IIRC no leader can cede anything or enter into any treaty that puts the UK under a foreign power.

To me, THEY, as in TB/GB, are trying to cede FROM the UK and TO the EU, taking all land and wealth with them.

If they want to personally subject themselves alone to the rules of the EU, then fine - bugger off.

I give no authority to transfer sovereignty to a foreign power and as such why should I have to recognise it?

Does this mean I am now at war?

chris said...

The not-a-constitution-really Treaty is a poison challice from Tony Blair, a final fuck you for all the times he has been stabbed in the back.

There is absolutely no way that Gordon Brown will call a referendum. He would have to campaigne for a yes (even if he doesn't want to, remember it was Brown that kept us out of the Euro where Europhile Blair would have jumped in) and knows that he would loose. The EU is an area that the sceptical line associated with the conservatives resonates with the public by placing it squarely at the centre of the political debate it would be them an incredible gift. As the leader of Her Majesties Loyal Oppersition it is David Cameron's job to put an opposing point of view to the government, so his duty, his front bench collegues, his back benchers, his party activists, and his opinion polls would all be pointing in the same direction. It would unite and energise the party behind him party while setting it firmly on the side of public opinion. There is absolutely no way that Gordon Brown can allow that to happen. So he has to try and pus it through parliament instead hoping that looking like an anti-democratic control freak is better than looking holding a referendum that he knows he will loose and will strengthen opposition against him.

Devil's Kitchen said...


what is it with this eurosceptic insistence that the presumption of innocence is somehow not a part of the mainland European legal system?

Sorry, you are right; this is me being silly. What I am really referring to is the burden of proof; in this country, the state has to prove that you are guilty.

In many Continental countries (including France, I believe) you are required to prove that you are innocent. It's a subtle shift, but significant.


monoi said...

"In many Continental countries (including France, I believe) you are required to prove that you are innocent. It's a subtle shift, but significant"

I don't think so. The system is different, but you are still innocent until proven guilty.

A simple example: the gatso cameras would not work there because the police has to prove who was driving, and hence have a picture. No such thing here, where s172 of the road traffic compels you under threat of criminal prosecution to grass on the driver. Even more absurd, if the speeding charge is wrong, you are still compelled to give a name and you can be charged !

Funnily enough, the ECHR has been asked to declare that one illegal. Thank fuck for the ECHR I say.

The problem with freedoms does not come from Europe but from cunts like Bliar.

The right to jury trial ? wasn't that Bliar ?

Habeas Corpus ? wasn't that Bliar ?

Goodbye Britain ? wouldn't that be Bliar too ?

CCTVs, asbos, etc...pretty much Bliar.

There are plenty of things to dislike about Europe, but your freedoms are safer with Europe than without.

chris said...

The ECHR has nothing to do with the EU, though this is a common mistake to make.

It is a product of the Council of Europe and was ratified 5 years before the Treaty of Rome setting up the European Coal and Steel Community which eventually mutated into the EU. The UK was one of the first signatories of the ECHR and the major force behind setting it up.

MatGB said...

I want a referendum. I want three questions:
1) Should we stay in the EU
2) Should we accept this treaty
3) Should we join the Euro if it ever becomes economically viable

I predict a massive yes to 1), and a big fight over 2) and 3). I reckon 2) could be yes, and I suspect 3) would be no, but I think it'd be close.

Blair's argument that it'd take six months and eat up all the political time? Good, it'll stop the bastards doing more stupid things (like banning alcohol, good coverage on that one BTW, keep it up).

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