The heir to Blair now has his own dodgy dossier:
“We have secured a new settlement to give the United Kingdom special status in the European Union.”
No you haven’t. It’s not secured. It’s dependent on future Treaty change. Angela Merkel is recorded as saying, “We do not know if we ever will have a change of [the Treaties]”. François Hollande has said “Il n’y a pas eu de dérogation aux règles du marché unique, il n’y a pas de révision prévue des traités” (There is no exemption from the rules of the Single Market, no change forseen to the Treaties).
Again: “The reforms we have secured in this negotiation… are legally binding and cannot be unpicked without our agreement and that of every other EU country. ”
That’s not true either. They are not legally binding. The “Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the EU” cannot commit the European Union to a future Treaty.
Cameron and company are clearly so desperate to deceive the British people that they go so far as to lie to us. Will nobody challenge this contempt?
On television on Sunday 20 February, Cameron argued, “If Britain were to leave the EU, that might give you a feeling of sovereignty, but you’ve got to ask yourself is it real?…you have an illusion of sovereignty, but you don’t have power.” That sounded familiar.
Forty-five years ago, in a notorious briefing paper entitled Sovereignty and the European Communities, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) tried to rationalize the surrender of British sovereignty contemplated by Edward Heath as he sought to take the UK into the European Economic Community — in defiance of his own election manifesto. The FCO paper, which was kept secret for 30 years, argued that:
“The technical legal aspects of sovereignty… must not be confused with the realities of power. Ultimately it is the latter which count… Sovereignty is a technical concept with in many ways only limited bearing on the questions of power and influence… The British have long been accustomed to the belief that we play a major part in ordering the affairs of the world and that in ordering our own affairs we are beholden to none. Much of this is mere illusion.”
This demonstrates two things: first, Cameron is adept at mastering a brief. Second, the FCO line-to-take has hardly changed in 45 years.
The FCO paper went on:
“Membership of the Communities will involve us in extensive limitations upon our freedom of action. The loss of external sovereignty will… increase as the Community develops… By the end of the century… the erosion of the international role of the member states could be almost complete… [I]n the longest term the progressive development of the Community could indeed mean the weakening of the member states’ independence of action and in the last resort of their national institutions and their sovereignty.”
And this is indeed what we have come to.
55 per cent.
“Where reasoned opinions on the non-compliance of a draft Union legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity, sent within 12 weeks from the transmission of that draft, represent more than 55 % of the votes allocated to the national Parliaments, the Council Presidency will include the item on the agenda of the Council for a comprehensive discussion on these opinions and on the consequences to be drawn therefrom.”
Where else would it be seen as a major triumph to accept that a 55 per cent majority might carry the day? In a democracy, perhaps?
And this might lead to a “comprehensive discussion”? This is beyond a joke.
Not legally binding: This is not a treaty change, still less a treaty. It is simply a political decision by the “Heads of State or Government… concerning a new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union.”
The very first clause says:
Desiring to settle, in conformity with the Treaties, certain issues raised by the United Kingdom in its letter of 10 November 2015…
In conformity with the Treaties. Those will be the Treaties which continue to bind us, then.
The spectacle of a British Prime Minister shuttling between Brussels conference rooms, begging for some faux concessions to sell to a gullible British electorate, was humiliating. Little illustrates more starkly the extent to which successive British governments have conceded to the European Commission the power to determine how British people may be allowed to govern themselves.
And that is the least of it. In claiming that this so-called deal is legally binding and irreversible — which the European Council website itself asserts — Cameron and the European elites are simply lying. It is not true.
We have tried here to maintain a semblance of calm, and to present reasoned arguments. But this is disgusting.