Remember those heady days….ooh….about a month ago when the Coalition came up with a cracking wheeze to make us feel that they actually represent us and that our vote means something? Remember the ‘Programme for Government’?
Well, with what some might think is indecent haste (surely they can’t have prepared the answers before launching the programme), they’ve answered our questions, so in the interest of spreading the joy around a bit let’s take a closer look at this revolutionary exercise in open government. Dear reader, I give you the Coalition’s Response to public comments on the Coalition Government’s approach to Europe….
We understand that so many of you feel jaded and sceptical about the EU. Speaking about the EU in Parliament, the Foreign Secretary said he knows there is “a profound disconnection between the British people and what has been done in their name by British Governments”.
Correct. We want a referendum on our continued membership.
We want to deal with this.
Excellent! Here’s an idea; why don’t we have a referendum on our continued membership or the repeal of 1972 European Communities Act?
That is why we have said we will not agree to any further transfer of sovereignty or powers from the UK to the EU during this Parliament. We are committed to ensuring that the British people have their say on any future proposed transfers of powers to the EU. So we are introducing a law to ensure that any future EU Treaty that transfers competences or areas of power from the UK to the EU will be subject to a referendum.
Further transfer of sovereignty? Setting aside for a moment the fact that Parliament, in ratifying the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty, replaced a millennium of Anglo-Saxon Common Law with the Code Napoleon at a stroke, What sovereignty would that be, and at precisely what point did EU opt-outs cease to be “cosmetic”?
As a result of our EU membership British firms can sell their products and services in the 27 countries which make up the Single Market. That’s 500 million potential customers.
So all trade with the EU would automatically end if we withdrew? That seems a pretty bold assumption to make given that our balance of trade within the EU is negative.
Doing things through the EU helps in other ways too: from the laws that protect our birds as they migrate between the British Isles and Africa, to working with other EU countries to get our collective voice heard in world affairs.
The Coalition Government wants to listen to what you have to say on this issue and, where there’s room for improvement, act on it.
Ripper! Have I mentioned a referendum yet?
The ratification of Lisbon was no less than an act of High Treason. Our right to a referendum must be upheld by Parliament and then we should decide what to do with the perpetrators. Mealy-mouthed platitudes on a website are no substitute for democracy.