Sunday, 23 December 2007

EU Wine Markets: Europe’s Lilliputians Create Little Markets for Little Europeans

The European Union has never sufficiently grasped the concept of global markets – for a trading bloc whose whole philosophy is grounded in an exclusive low/no tariff arrangements between a specified number of European states, and thereby excluding states outside the bloc, it’s new wine reform package is no surprise. It confirms the principled framework of the European Union – that Europeans will trade amongst themselves in a heavily regulated and exclusive manner, at the expense and to the cost of those operating in the global market place. The wine reform will in fact, close the wine market to European states, not open them up (as the EU Commission and DEFRA have claimed).

Say goodbye to your Californian ‘Blossom Hill’! The practice of the Lilliputian Europeans in the EU, asserting tariffs and reducing them in global markets where it thinks fit (previously only major governing statutes of France and the Soviet Union), will, in time, massively threaten the global market for wine. The Commission’s guarantee that this package for wine reform will ensure "quality and competitiveness" in the global market place is short-sighted, wrong and wholly anti-competitive for those trading in the global marketplace. The reform has taken the markets from bad to worse – it has converted a hugely subsidised market and made it into an outright protectionist one, making the situation no better for the long-term.

The claims by Jonathan Shaw, a minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that "This is good news for UK consumers and producers …. It will rid the wine regime of its worst features, which discouraged innovation and encouraged surplus production that was disposed of at the European taxpayers' expense" are false statements, which will be proven wrong in the medium term future. This reform has closed the market to those outside Europe, and British consumers and producers will suffer as they realise that they are now economically isolated from the rest of the global wine market. It is the best example of Europe’s Lilliuptians creating little markets for little Europeans.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Oxford East – Where is Our EU Lisbon Treaty referendum?

James McConalogue (European Foundation, London): Five years ago on 24 January 2002, the elected Labour MP for Oxford East, Andrew Smith, told the House of Commons in a debate on the euro: “The five economic tests are clearly set out, and, as we have said time and again, it is our policy that it must be clearly and unambiguously in Britain's economic interests before we would recommend entry to Cabinet, to Parliament and in a referendum.”

Whilst I must congratulate Mr. Smith on his honesty in appearing to defend “Britain’s economic interests” and the need for parliamentary debate and a referendum to achieve agreement, I wonder if he would now support the democratic case for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which is clearly and unambiguously not in Britain's economic interests.

As with joining the single currency, this Treaty fundamentally alters the nature of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Since this Treaty will change the nature of our relationship with the European Union – and even gives a definite provision for the future obligation that “the Union shall establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro” [Article 2] – why is it now impossible to see that there must be a parliamentary debate, concluded with a public vote by national referendum, in order to decide whether this Treaty will take effect in Britain.

Given the need for Mr. Smith to maintain a small Labour majority of only 963 votes at the next election, I realise that the elected Labour MP for Oxford East must now feel compelled to remain silent on the Lisbon Treaty and the impact that it will have on his constituency. However, as an elected Member of Parliament, can Mr. Smith not see that by refusing to let the people of Oxford East have their say through a referendum on the Treaty, the call for democracy within the constituency and across the country will be sunk beneath the authority of unelected European officials. This is clearly undemocratic.

I can only assume, on his own terms, that the case for a referendum remains in the interest of British democracy and our national economic interests and to put it right, he must push for a referendum or better still, vote against the Treaty given its detrimental consequences for the democratic future of Britain. Any action to the contrary would surely make Andrew Smith unelectable at the next election.

Corby – Where is Our EU Lisbon Treaty referendum?

James McConalogue (European Foundation, London): In the not so distant past, on 8 December 2003, the elected Labour MP for Corby, Phil Hope, told the House of Commons that “…in drawing up a constitutional treaty for the European Union, the UK Government have throughout been a leading advocate both of ensuring that subsidiarity is properly enforced and of strengthening the role of national Parliaments in Europe.”

Whilst I must congratulate Mr. Hope on his honesty to espouse essentially pro-European ambitions and views as he thinks fit (although I disagree), I wonder if he still supports the same view now that the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary European Scrutiny Committee has concluded that this Reform Treaty is “substantially equivalent” to the Constitutional Treaty, that subsidiarity is not properly enforced and if anything, the Treaty places a legal obligation onto national Parliaments, including Westminster.

The solid democratic case for a referendum is based on the underlying fact that this Lisbon Treaty fundamentally alters the constitutional nature of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Having realised the errors of those previous statements, will the MP for Corby now admit that the case for a referendum is compelling? I am concerned that he will not.

Given the need for him to maintain his small (1517) Labour majority at the next election, I realise that the elected Labour MP for Corby must now feel compelled to remain silent on the EU Reform Treaty – and of course the wholly negative impact this will have on his constituency. However, as an elected Member of Parliament, can Phil Hope not see that by refusing to let the people of Corby have their say through a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (which fundamentally alters the nature of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union), the call for democracy in this constituency and across the country will be sunk beneath the authority of unelected European officials. This is clearly undemocratic.
I can only assume, on his own terms, that the Treaty does not withstand the criteria he had previously set for it and that the case for a referendum in the interest of British democracy is compelling. Better still, he could vote against the Treaty given its detrimental consequences for the democratic future of Britain. Any action to the contrary would surely make Phil Hope unelectable at the next election.

Nottingham North – Where is Our EU Lisbon Treaty Referendum?

James McConalogue (European Foundation, London): Five years ago on 2nd December 2002, the elected Labour MP for Nottingham North, Graham Allen, told the House of Commons that by creating an EU Constitution, firstly “it would not have 40 or 50 founding fathers, as the United States constitution had, but several million founding fathers and mothers”, secondly “such a constitution would enjoy the support of the population as a whole” and thirdly, it “would have to be endorsed by the British people in a referendum.”

Whilst I must congratulate Mr. Allen on both his honesty to espouse his essentially pro-European ambitions and views as he thinks fit (although I disagree) and to recommend the use of a democratic referendum to reach an agreement, I wonder if he would now support the democratic case for referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which – like its “substantially equivalent” precursor, the EU Constitution – fundamentally alters the nature of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. It most certainly is not in the interests of Nottingham North to allow their elected MP to allow Gordon Brown to sign this country up to a Constitution for the ‘United States of Europe’.

I realise that the elected Labour MP for Nottingham North must now feel compelled to remain silent on the Lisbon Treaty – and of course the wholly negative impact this will have on his own constituency by averting a national referendum – given the need for him to win a sufficient majority at the next election. However, as an elected Member of Parliament, can Graham Allen not see that by refusing to let the people of Nottingham North have their say through a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (which fundamentally and irreversibly alters the nature of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union), the call for democracy in this constituency and across the country will be sunk beneath the authority of unelected European officials. This is clearly undemocratic.

I can only assume, on his own terms, that the case for a referendum is still in the interest of British democracy and to put it right, he must enable a referendum or better still vote against the Treaty given its detrimental consequences for the democratic future of Britain. Any action to the contrary would surely make Graham Allen unelectable at the next election.

Cossiga lashes out

The former President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, has said that a recent audio tape in which Osama bin Laden attacks the former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, as an American lackey, is a fabrication invented in the studios of Berlusconi’s own media company, Mediaset, in order to curry support for the tycoon as a potential victim of terrorism. “Circles close to Palazzo Chigi [the Prime Minister’s office], the nerve centre of the Italian intelligence services, point out that the fact that the tape is a fake is proved by the fact that Osama bin Laden ‘confesses’ that Al Qaeda was the author of the attacks of 11 September against the twin towers in New York, whereas all democratic circles in America and Europe, especially those of the centre-left in Italy, now know perfectly well that that disastrous attack was planned and implemented by the American CIA and Mossad with the help of the Zionist world in order to put Arab countries in the dock and induce the Western powers to intervene in Iraq and Afghanistan.” [Corriere della sera, 30 November 2007]

Agreement on Galileo system

After months of wrangling, the EU has reached a compromise on its planned satellite navigation system, Galileo. Two-thirds of the missing 2.4 billion euros will be taken from the agricultural budget, the remainder coming from the research budget and the competitivity budget. Germany had been opposed to financing it out of EU funds, which it wants to cap, and it feared that up to 500 million euros would have to come out of its national budget. A compromise was reached when Germany agreed to rules on tendering which are designed to ensure that German companies get a slice of the cake. The claim is that the money from the agricultural budget would have been unspent anyway, so no one is losing out. Money is also available from the CAP budget because food prices have risen and this means that less has to be paid out in subsidies.

The purpose of Galileo is to give Europe a navigation system which is independent of the American GPS system. The system will be composed of 30 satellites, and the system is supposed to go live in 2013, when it will have an accuracy of a few centimetres. The total cost to the taxpayer will be at least 3.4 billion euros. The EU states have also agreed on a 4.2 per cent rise in the EU budget to 120,346 billion for 2008. 285 million euros will be spent on the Common EU Foreign and Security Policy, 85 million more than originally suggested. One of the reasons for the rise is the police mission in Kosovo, which is to cost at least 160 million euros. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Agreement on Galileo system

After months of wrangling, the EU has reached a compromise on its planned satellite navigation system, Galileo. Two-thirds of the missing 2.4 billion euros will be taken from the agricultural budget, the remainder coming from the research budget and the competitivity budget. Germany had been opposed to financing it out of EU funds, which it wants to cap, and it feared that up to 500 million euros would have to come out of its national budget. A compromise was reached when Germany agreed to rules on tendering which are designed to ensure that German companies get a slice of the cake. The claim is that the money from the agricultural budget would have been unspent anyway, so no one is losing out. Money is also available from the CAP budget because food prices have risen and this means that less has to be paid out in subsidies.

The purpose of Galileo is to give Europe a navigation system which is independent of the American GPS system. The system will be composed of 30 satellites, and the system is supposed to go live in 2013, when it will have an accuracy of a few centimetres. The total cost to the taxpayer will be at least 3.4 billion euros. The EU states have also agreed on a 4.2 per cent rise in the EU budget to 120,346 billion for 2008. 285 million euros will be spent on the Common EU Foreign and Security Policy, 85 million more than originally suggested. One of the reasons for the rise is the police mission in Kosovo, which is to cost at least 160 million euros. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Merkel criticises Lisbon Treaty

Chancellor Merkel has said that the new Lisbon Treaty “has achieved some things” but that it is “obviously far from the clarity of our Basic Law, where competences are clearly defined”. She said that she would have liked to have seen greater emphasis on the Christian tradition in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

On the whole, though, she said that she was happy with the treaty. “It will change a lot in the European Union,” she said. She said that she hoped that a conciliatory personality would be found to be the EU president, the new 2 -½-year post which replaces the old rotating presidency. [Handelsblatt, 5 December 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Will Belarus-Russian Union now go ahead?

Elements of the Russian media are speculating that Vladimir Putin might stay in power after ceasing to become Russian President by becoming the President of a new Russian-Belarussian Union state. The Kremlin has firmly denied the rumours, which in fact emanate originally from the very anti-Putin radio station “Echo Moskvy”. It claims that the union state between Belarus and Russia is to be signed in Minsk on 13th and 14th December, after many years during which the project seemed to have run into the sands.

According to the rumour, Putin would be president of the common state, the current president of Belarus would become the President of the Union Parliament and Viktor Zubkov, the current Russian premier, would become Union premier instead. [Die Welt, 7 December 2007] A Kremlin spokesman has denounced the rumours as “speculative fantasies” and indeed it is quite likely that it is but another piece of opposition–generated desinformatsiya.

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Albania wants to become a nuclear power

Albania is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe and the situation there is made addedly chaotic by the fact that the country suffers from an acute shortage of electricity. The capital city is plunged into a cacophony of generators, as there are now power cuts for many hours every day. This is mainly because when Bulgarian joined the EU it had to close down one of its reactors which used to export electricity across the Balkans.

But the drought this year has also meant that the country’s old hydroelectric generators do not work. The Prime Minister of the country, Sali Berisha, has now announced that he wants his country to have its own nuclear power station instead. He wants Albania to become “an energy superpower” and claims that various companies have expressed an interest. A power station would cost 3 billion euros, 50 per cent of the country’s GDP. [Jens Tönnesmann, Handelsblatt, 2 December 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

EU to regulate guns

The EU commissar for industry, Günter Verheugen, has told Die Welt Online that the EU wants to strengthen laws against gun ownership in order to restrict the circulation of illegal weapons. A directive is being prepared which would require all EU member states to introduce minimum standards for the control of weapons. “Arms must be subject to the strictest controls and they should be in private hands only under exceptional circumstances,” said Verheugen. The commissar said that any new directive would certainly change German law. The proposal is to store information on the ownership of individual guns for at least 20 years in a computerised data bank. This list would be open to prosecutors and the police. Weapons will also have to bear a registration mark indicating the place and date of their manufacture.

Any arms retailer will be required to keep information about the weapons he has sold for as long as he is in business, not just for five years as at present. He said that the law would also cover so-called convertible weapons which are not dangerous in themselves, but which can be converted into shotguns. “This is particularly a problem in Great Britain,” he said. Verheugen said that illegal weapons would henceforth be destroyed as soon as they are seized. Verheugen said the new law would be introduced in 2009. There will also be a European weapon pass, restrictions on which will also be tightened. Verheugen and others who support this new law have reminded people that there have been mass killings in schools (in Germany and in Finland) and that this is the reason why the new laws are necessary. [Die Welt, 29 November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Belgium’s death throes continue

Is this the beginning of the end of Belgium? The country’s protracted political crisis shows no sign of coming to an end and the country remains without a government, even though elections were held in June. The basic problem lies in the inability of Flemings and Walloons to agree on the division of powers within the country, and over recent years Flemish opinion has hardened against their Francophone compatriots and against the Belgian state generally. Now a small Flemish party, the New Flemish Alliance, has refused to join a coalition under the leadership of Yves Leterme, the (Flemish) Christian Democrat leader, because its leader, Bart De Wever, does not think that Leterme’s agreement on devolution of power to Belgium’s regions (i.e. to Flanders) goes far enough. Although Leterme campaigned and won on more power for Flanders, he has played this down as he seeks a Francophone coalition partner. The Walloons are generally hostile to any further decentralisation of power because they are big recipients of federal money. They fear that if the regions (i.e., in effect, Flanders) have fiscal autonomy, autonomy over corporate tax, employment policy and family policy, then the country will have, in effect, split into two.

The sticking point with the New Flemish Alliance is the social security budget, which the Flemings want to regionalise. This would put an immediate end to the massive gravy train which is the Belgian state and Wallonia would lose out heavily. Mr De Wever knows that Mr. Leterme cannot do without the five seats he has in the federal Parliament, and therefore he is being intransigent. He calculates that Leterme’s inability to deliver proves that, in fact, separation for Flanders is the only answer. [Jean-Pierre Stroobants, Le Monde, 28 November 2007] In the meantime, the caretaker Belgian government (composed of the same ministers who ran the previous government) has signed the EU Reform Treaty (the replacement for the defunct Constitution) even though the Belgian constitution forbids a caretaker government from signing any new international agreements while it is in office.

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

France struggling to sell Mediterranean proposal

France is trying to persuade its EU partners to adopt its idea of a Mediterranean Union which President Sarkozy launched during the presidential election campaign earlier this year and which he mentioned again in greater detail in a speech in Tangier on 23 October. However, at a debate organised in Paris on 26 November by the Heinrich Heine House and the College of Spain, German and even Spanish scepticism of the idea became evident. The French State Secretary for European Affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, tried to demonstrate that Mr. Sarkozy’s idea fitted into the Mediterranean policy of the EU (known as the Barcelona process) arguing that it would complement and add to an insufficient policy.

The Barcelona process had been originally conceived as a akin to the Helsinki Conference of 1975 which was intended to bridge the gap between East and West during the Cold War, but Paris’ view is that it has not had the desired effect and the two shores of the Mediterranean remain as far apart politically as ever. Barcelona has also not contributed to an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as originally hoped. The French minister explained that Paris was interested to hear what other Mediterranean states thought of President Sarkozy’s proposal and that the basic idea is for the Union to be built up progressively, starting with a few states and then being enlarged to include potentially all states on the shores of the Mediterranean. Northern EU Member States which do not border the sea would be invited to have observer or associate status.

It is precisely this point which has elicited opposition from Germany. Jouyet’s German and Spanish opposite numbers, Günter Gloser and Miguel Angel Navarro, insisted at the debate on the importance of the Barcelona process and of the policy of good neighbourliness which, they said, are “integral parts of the EU’s policy” and something in which “all EU states are involved”. In other words, Germany and Spain are hostile to any undermining of the EU’s role by the new Union. They said that the problems of the Mediterranean were “common problems” which must be tackled together by all EU states and the common approach forms part of the EU’s overall common foreign and security policy. All 27 EU states had to have the same rights, they said. The Spanish minister said that Madrid was “always available where the Mediterranean is concerned” but it is obvious that France’s partners are sceptical about the need to invent a new organisation. [Daniel Vernet, Le Monde, 28 November 2007]

President Sarkozy heard about German scepticism towards the plan from the horse’s mouth when Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, came to Paris to talk about it on 5 December. The two agreed to ask their sherpas to come up with an agreement which would associate all EU states to the proposed new union by the time of the Brussels summit on 14 December. But Mrs Merkel said that it would be “a difficult test for Europe” if states on the Mediterranean decided to create their own union, because the EU, including Germany, itself takes a strong interest in that region. [Henri de Bresson, Le Monde, 8 December 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Balkan tinderbox: West strikes a light

As expected, Serbs and Kosovo Albanians have failed to come to an agreement on the future status of the South Serb province during three days of negotiations which were billed as offering one last chance for a solution. The negotiations took place in Austria and ended without an agreement on 28 November. The stage is now set for a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo and possible recognition of this by the EU and the United States. The Western troops in Kosovo are preparing for war: the Albanians are well armed and everyone fears a renewed outbreak of violence. President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic told the Serbian President, Boris Tadić, in September, that any such recognition by the West of an independent Kosovo – effectively a truncation of Serbian territory – would be “a second Munich agreement”. Klaus was of course referring to the agreement between Britain, France and Germany, signed with Hitler in Munich in September 1938, according to which the Western powers agreed to allow the Sudeten Germans to secede from Czechoslovakia. This agreement, now universally condemned as an act of appeasement, is widely seen as having marked the beginning of the Second World War.

The president of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu, said on 28 November that the differences between Belgrade and Pristina remained as great as ever. “Independence is the beginning and the end for the people of Kosovo,” he said. “We cannot say exactly when it will come about but it happen be very quickly.” The Serbian President, Boris Tadić, has said that he will “annul” any decision in favour of independence taken by the Kosovo authorities. “We will use all legal and diplomatic measures to annul any such decision,” he said. The European mediator, Wolfgang Ischinger, has said that it is “regrettable” that the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement. His American counterpart, Frank Wisner, said that the peace of the region was at stake. He called on both sides not to move towards violence. “We are not expecting violence immediately but we are entering a very difficult period,” he said.

Slovenia takes over the presidency of the EU in January and it has warned against a precipitate recognition of Kosovo’s independence. The Foreign Minister of Slovenia, Dimitrij Rupel, has said, “The move to independence must under all circumstances be coordinated internationally. We need a little more time for that.” Rupel demanded from the Kosovo Albanians more guarantees about the protection of the Serbian minority in Kosovo and of its cultural heritage there. “These are jewels of European culture,” he said, “we can take no risks with them.” On the other hand, Rupel said that he did not accept the Russian position, which would lead to a further blockage of the resolution of Kosovo’s status. “The Kosovars should not have to wait another year,” he said. The minister said that Slovenia could be an honest broker on Kosovo since it is an ex-Yugoslav state and has good relations with Russia while of course being a member of the EU. [Handelsblatt, 2 December 2007.]

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Tusk tries to mend fences

The new Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, has moved to try to repair the damaged relations between his country and Russia by abandoning his country’s opposition to Russia joining the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. “I have informed Russia that Poland will no longer block the negotiations,” said Tusk, adding that he hoped to visit Moscow soon. His predecessor, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the President’s twin brother, had frozen relations with Russia when it placed an embargo on Polish meat imports in November 2005.

Moscow would thereby become the third foreign destination for the new Prime Minister, after Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, in late November, and Rome in early December, to see the Pope. It remains to be seen when he will go to Germany. Tusk is said to want an improvement in relations with Berlin but he is approaching the issue cautiously since he does not want to be denounced as “pro-German” by President Kaczynski. On 21 November, Tusk appointed Wladyslaw Bartoszewski to the post of State Secretary to the Prime Minister. Bartoszewski, 85, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz but who has since become an indefatigable proponent of German-Polish reconciliation, and who speaks German fluently, is a popular figure in Germany. In 1995, when Foreign Minister, he gave a noted speech to the Bundestag for commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the World War. He said on that occasion that he regretted the expulsion of Germans from what became Polish territory.

Perhaps the most significant appointment in the new Tusk government, however, is that of Radek Sikorski who becomes the new Foreign Minister. Sikorski, 44, who has British citizenship having studied at Oxford, is married to Anne Applebaum, the noted Washington Post columnist. For several years he worked at the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most influential neo-conservative think tanks, and his elevation to head of the Polish Foreign Office means that Warsaw’s foreign policy will be every bit as pro-American as it was under the previous Kaczynski government, in which Sikorski was Minister of Defence. [Célia Chauffour, Le Monde, 29 November 2007]

Indeed, in an interview, Tusk has confirmed that his country remains as Atlanticist as ever. He told Le Monde that he is opposed to a purely European system of defence and that all military matters must remain within NATO. He also said that he was very pleased when Mr. Sarkozy went to Washington because good relations between France and America were good for Europe. Tusk said that Poland would probably be the first country in Europe to ratify the new Lisbon Treaty, the replacement for the old Constitution. “That will enable us to be seen as the most European country in Europe,” he said. He claimed that public opinion in Poland was 80 per cent in favour of the EU and that he wanted his country to shake off the Eurosceptic reputation it had acquired in recent years under the Kaczynski government. Tusk refused to be drawn on his position on the proposed anti-missile shield for which the Americans want to station launch sites in Poland. He had suggested in his campaign that he was against it: watch this space. [Interview in Le Monde, 8 December 2007]

The new government in Warsaw has also made it clear that it sees no way that Poland can adopt the euro before 2012. The Finance Minister, Jacek Rostowski has said, “This goal goes beyond the horizon of the four-year legislative period.” Tusk has said, “Poland’s accession to the eurozone must not represent any kind of danger for the economy and it must be especially useful for the ordinary citizen.” Poland in this respect resembles most of the other new Member States of the EU, which also are not expected to adopt the euro until 2012. (Slovenia is the exception: it adopted it this year. Slovakia hopes to adopt the euro in 2009. Bulgaria has aligned it currency to the euro for some time and might also adopt it before 2012).

The main reason for Warsaw’s caution is economics: Poland does not satisfy the criteria. Inflation remains at 4 per cent, well above the required level, and prices are still rising. The deficit is also above 3 per cent of GDP although the government has said that it will try to bring this down. On the other hand, the new government has also promised spending on various big projects like roads, and to raise the salaries of teachers. But there are also political obstacles. The Polish constitution would have to be changed if the country wanted to adopt the euro, because it specifies that the National Bank issues currency. A two-thirds majority in Parliament would be needed to change this, and the Law and Justice Party of the Kaczynski brothers would probably vote against. [Reinhold Vetter, Handelsblatt, 29 November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Racial tensions flare up in Italy

The murder of an Italian woman by a Romanian gypsy has caused the Prodi government in Rome to issue a decree expelling the numerous illegal immigrants, including many Romanian gypsies, who have gathered in great camps in Italy, including in Rome, since that country joined the EU at the beginning of this year. This represents a severe setback for relations between the two Latin peoples.

Hundreds of thousands of Romanians, if not more, live in Italy as guest-workers and have done so for years: they regard the gypsies in their own country as a different people, and they resent the implication that they are themselves gypsies. In addition to those Romanians who work as cleaners and in restaurants, there are some 342,000 new arrivals (556,000 according to the organisation Caritas) and these are mainly gypsies who have settled in camps and who are the object of considerable intolerance. Indeed, there has been so much emigration from Romania to Italy (and Spain) that there is a now a shortage of labour in Romania itself: one Italian clothing company which has a factory in Bacau has had to employ 300 Chinese workers instead of locals.

There are 22,000 Italian businesses in Romania and 7,000 Romanian businesses in Italy, Italy being Romania’s principal economic partner. Italians have bought up some 300,000 hectares of agricultural land in Romania, 2 per cent of the country’s total, and about a thousand new Italian companies a year are set up there. Some 5,000 Italians travel to Romania every day and there are some 12,000 Italians living in Western Romania, especially in Timişoara, and many of the expatriate Italians have expressed outrage at the condemnation of an entire nation which, they say, is implied in the Prodi decree.

When the Italian Minister for Economic Development, Pier Luigi Bersani, visited Romania at the beginning of development, he was told that the decree would have a negative impact on the economic relations between the two countries, and that many Romanians in Italy now wanted to come home.

There is also resentment now in Romania at the rich Italians who have come to live in their country, and who earn far more than the locals. Italy is involved in a number of major construction projects in Romania, including that of a second nuclear power station at Cernavoda and a proposed oil pipeline from Constanta to Trieste. This project may now be in jeopardy. [Mirel Bran, Le Monde, 29 November 2007]

Inflation on the rise in Germany

Prices had risen by 3 per cent in November 2007 since the same month the previous year, according to data published by the German Federal Office of Statistics. This is the highest level of inflation in Germany for thirteen years. Worse, it comes against the background of an expected decline in economic growth in 2008. In several Länder, the inflation rate was above 3 per cent: in Saxony, for instance, it reached 3.4 per cent.

One of the main causes is the rise in the cost of food, especially bread and dairy products. The price of these has risen by between 3.7 per cent and 7 per cent in different regions, while milk has gone up by no less than 25 per cent. Rising oil prices are also a factor. Gas and electricity prices are also expected to rise at the beginning of next year.

Finally, the increase of VAT to 19 per cent has obviously pushed up prices. It is now unlikely that inflation in the largest European economy will fall below 2 per cent much before the middle of 2008, if then. Two per cent is the target rate fixed by the European Central Bank. The chief economist of the ECB, the German Jürgen Stark, has said that no one can be pleased at the present situation. [Welt am Sonntag, 25 November 2007]

Other economists have said that the situation is not so grave since the price rises come from “outside”: this is the view of Wolfgang Nierhaus of the IFO Institute in Munich, although presumably even he would admit that it is inflation nonetheless. This is one of the reasons why Berlin is not overtly hostile to the current strength of the euro: although it may hurt German exports, it also dampens the rise in the cost of imports like oil. This is why the German Finance Minister, Peer Steinbrück, has said, “No one has an interest in a weak euro.” [Handelsblatt, 27 November 2007]

On the other hand, unemployment has fallen in Germany – by 55,000 to 3.38 million. This is the lowest level for thirteen years, since November 1992. There are now 617,000 fewer people out of work in Germany than there were a year ago, and the overall rate has fallen by 0.1 to 8.1 per cent. A year ago it was at 9.6 per cent. The fall in joblessness is even higher than experts had predicted: they thought the total figure would fall to 3.42 million.

Economists say that the “very strong” economy is the reason for the fall. They are therefore not expecting the number to rise back to 4 million this winter, as happened in the worst years. It is expected that the fall will carry on into the first half of 2008. One economist at the IFO Institute has said that German companies are very happy to hire people at the moment and that there are plenty of job vacancies. The good figures for November follow a fall of 110,000 to 3.432 million out of work in October, or 8.2 per cent of the workforce. [Die Welt, 29 November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Regions to receive direct aid from Brussels

On 3 December, the President of the regional council of the South Pyrenees region in France (Midi-Pyrénées), signed the statutes of the new Euro-region, Pyrenees-Mediterranean, in the presence of the commissar for regional policy, the former Polish communist, Danuta Hübner. This Euro-region includes Midi-Pyrénnés and Languedoc-Rousillon in France and Catalonia, Aragon and the Balearic Islands in Spain. T

he region is thereby taking advantage of a possibility of establishing a European Group for Territorial Cooperation, a body which has juridical personality in European law which means it can receive money directly from Brussels. The purpose of these new “Groups” is, Brussels says, to encourage “cross-border, trans-national and inter-regional cooperation”: the real goal, of course, is to undermine the nation-state.

The president of Midi-Pyrénées has said that the creation of the Group will enable the new Euro-region to apply for two EU funds which have a total of 250 million euros. Although in fact neither France nor Spain has implemented the directive enabling the creation of Euro-regions, Commissar Hübner says it should be in the bag by February.

The atmosphere of international bonhomie was somewhat spoiled, however, by the refusal of representative from Aragon to attend the ceremony. Aragon is embroiled in a row with Catalonia about a collection of sacred art which is in Catalonia but which Aragon claims belongs to it. Meanwhile, the President of the Regional Council of Languedoc-Roussillon, who said that the Euro-region concept was “a machine which has been useless for twenty-five years” and who has threatened to leave it.

The attempt to set up the Euro-region, indeed, collapsed in 1991 because there were Front national deputies in the regional council of Languedoc-Rousillon. The process was re-launched with great pomp in Barcelona in 2004 but even now there are still disagreements between the regions. [Stéphane Thépot, Le Monde, 6 December 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Noël, no borders

On 21 December, the Schengen system of borderless travel is extended to include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Malta. Even Switzerland is expected to join Schengen next year.

The date of 21 December was picked so that Christmas celebrations could be held on various borders when the final restrictions there are lifted. Schengen currently has fifteen Member States, the whole EU except Britain and Ireland but plus Norway and Iceland.

Bavaria, however, has said that it will continue to check people, albeit not on the border itself. The Bavarian Interior Minister has said that such checks will be conducted “all along the Czech border”. Similar checks were introduced in Bavaria when controls were abolished on the border with Austria. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

EU's Common Agricultural Policy subsidies golf courses

For the thirteenth year running, the EU Court of Auditors has refused to approve the EU’s accounts. There are still massive problems in the agriculture budget and in the structural funds – the two areas which make up 80 per cent of the EU’s budget. Some 5 per cent of the money in these funds is missing or was wrongly spent. 12 per cent of the agriculture budget (total: 32 billion euros) should not have been spent, according to the President of the Court of Accounts, Hubert Weber. The causes of this huge misspending lie in incompetence, ignorance and fraud.

In the agricultural budget, in one quarter of the cases studied by the Court, farmers applied for subsidies for land which does not even exist (the more land you have, the more subsidies you get). Some people received CAP subsidies who have nothing to do with agriculture at all: golf clubs, riding schools and even railway companies have been paid money from the set-aside scheme. Even towns have been paid money from the CAP. The worst offenders in this regard are Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Britain.

In Germany, the number of recipients of CAP aid rose by 17 per cent in 2006 because in Germany set-aside money is paid whether or not the land in question has in fact been used for agriculture in the past and therefore “set aside”. But Southern Europe continues to receive money for olive trees which do not exist: one quarter of the farmers audited in Italy, Spain and Greece had applied for at least 5 per cent more trees than they actually have.

A lot of money has also gone missing from the 5.2 billion budget for food aid to the Third World, humanitarian aid and support for NGOs. The Commission says it is pleased that this year the Court of Auditors has approved 40 per cent of the budget: the figure was one-third the previous year and only 6 per cent the year before that.

A spokesperson for the commissar responsible for corruption, Siim Kallas (who was himself involved in a huge corruption scandal involving $10 million when he was chairman of the National Bank of Estonia) has said that the money can be recovered from the people to whom it was wrongly paid out. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 13th November 2007]

---- An excerpt from John Laughland's Intelligence Digest. For a free e-mail subscription to the Intelligence Digest, please click here ----

Monday, 17 December 2007

A Bad Day for Europe’s Pariah State

Anticipating tomorrow’s overwhelmingly positive conclusions from the European Council and Commission (18 December 2007), following each Member State’s signing of the Lisbon Treaty, James McConalogue of the European Foundation said:

“This will be a bad day for Britain. Europe looks set to have its presidential King and artful Foreign Minister, throned upon the platform of Europe’s draconian legal system. The leaders of a new enhanced European government will – as the UK Parliament’s own body of Committee critics have suggested – sign away their control over sovereign national Parliaments.”

“The unelected British Prime Minister and 26 of Europe’s elected leaders have voluntarily surrendered the powers of their own national Parliaments, and further submerged the British people under stupefying provisions for the right to strike through the associated Charter of Fundamental Rights, a European jurisdiction over crucial aspects of their criminal justice system, a European management over immigration quotas and asylum tribunals, a greatly increased European control over energy policy, the introduction of an EU President to instruct our home affairs, and a Foreign Minister assuming control over British foreign policy.”

“Brown has put the people of Britain in the path of grave danger as they are further towed into the passing of the great European juggernaut. As Winston Churchill asserted, Britain must be associated, not absorbed by Europe. What we need is a Europe based on an association of freely trading nation-states, not a Europe under one super state.”

Friday, 14 December 2007

Brown’s Signing of Reform Treaty in Breach of UK Parliamentary Code

It is clear that the British Prime Minister signed the treaty yesterday afternoon in breach of a major UK Parliamentary resolution, whilst side-stepping the conclusions of the Parliament’s All-Party European Scrutiny Committee. The European scrutiny resolution of the House of Commons [17 November 1998] was in fact passed by the Labour Government. That resolution clearly states: “No Minister of the Crown should give agreement in the Council or in the European Council to any proposal for European Community legislation . . . which is still subject to scrutiny”. Furthermore, it states that “any reference to agreement to a proposal includes . . . political agreement.”

Whilst it is possible for a Minister to agree to a Treaty if “he decides that for special reasons agreement should be given”, it is the responsibility of that Minister to explain his reasoning “in every such case, to the European Scrutiny Committee at the first opportunity after reaching his decision”. Bill Cash, MP, made this breach of resolution clear in the House of Commons after Brown had signed the Treaty.

James McConalogue of the European Foundation said:

“The Prime Minister, in short, is bound by the resolution to attend a European Scrutiny Committee session and explain why he signed this Treaty behind the backs of the British people and their Parliament. The European Scrutiny Committee declared in two reports that they had held the document in scrutiny. If we live in a country in which our political leader respects parliamentary sovereignty and the legitimate channels of democracy, he will report to Parliament on his deeds in Lisbon. If he chooses not to, then the reason for the various peoples of Britain electing their Members into a sovereign Parliament wears thin – leading to the breakdown of a society that no longer legislates for the alien European laws imposed upon it. And he may then wonder why the British people have almost given up voting.”

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

EU Court of Auditors: Why Europe Can’t Count Fish

On 4 December, the EU Court of Auditors published a report on ‘the control, inspection and sanction systems relating to the rules on conservation of Community fisheries resources’. The Court of Auditors' report is focused on data collection, control and enforcement under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). They believe that these areas are crucial to the proper functioning of any fisheries management policy based on catch limitations. The Court has found substantial shortcomings on “systems for collecting and monitoring catch data, on inspection arrangements, and systems for following up infringements and imposing sanctions.” The Court conducted a broad audit in these areas covering the Commission’s functions as well as how CFP rules are being implemented by the fisheries management authorities in six Member States (Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom).

The Court noted that “quota monitoring and quota uptake data are incomplete and unreliable.” Moreover, the Court stressed that the Commission is “unable to explain the differences between the figures that its Directorate-General for fisheries receives and those received by Eurostat.” Furthermore, the Court found that the Member States inspection systems do not offer guarantee that infringements are effectively prevented and detected. The Court deemed the “systems for following up infringements and imposing sanctions” inappropriate. Hence, according to the Court conclusions “unreliable catch data, inspections of limited effectiveness, systems for following up infringements and imposing sanctions that are often inappropriate” jeopardizes the proper functioning of a fisheries management policy based on catch limitations.

The Court has identified so many shortcomings which show that the measures for fishery resources management, and the total allowable catch (TAC) and quota system are not operating effectively. Therefore, the whole approach of the CFP should be questioned. According the European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Joe Borg, "The Court's Report has come at a critical moment. The Commission is scheduled to table a new Regulation on Fisheries Control in the second half of 2008. Most of the Court's conclusions coincide closely with our own analysis.” The Court report clearly shows that the CFP has failed.

Gordon Brown Must Recall Blair’s Final Words at the last Liaison Committee session – “it should be put to the British people"

Instead of signing the Lisbon Treaty tomorrow, the British Prime Minister will be attending the UK Parliament’s Liaison Committee. Before that meeting, Gordon Brown must first recall that the last occasion on which his predecessor, Tony Blair, was called to account at this Committee’s meeting on 18 June 2007, he said of the original EU Constitution that he “accepted in the end that it was a Treaty which, by its very nature in the way it was put forward, let people say ‘Well, this is something of such a fundamental nature that it should be put to the British people’.” Will Gordon Brown now accept that given the European Scrutiny Committee’s conclusion that the Lisbon Treaty is “substantially equivalent” to the EU Constitutional Treaty – a Treaty which his predecessor said must be held to a referendum – the case for a referendum for the Lisbon Treaty is undeniable.

Secondly, Gordon Brown’s dubious and confusing signals surrounding his attendance at the Reform Treaty are diversions from the real issue. There is no doubt that the British people will be formally signed up to the Reform Treaty tomorrow despite polls showing that about eighty per cent of those people demand a referendum on this Treaty. It is a Treaty that will have a fundamental impact on the daily lives of the British people. It does not matter if Brown attends or not, as Downing Street has already been good enough to clarify that this action has historical precedence on previous European Treaties: Robin Cook signed the Nice Treaty, Henderson signed the Amsterdam Treaty, Francis Maude and Douglas Hurd signed the Maastricht Treaty and Lady Chalker signed the Single European Act.

Thirdly, Brown’s conduct come us no surprise – this is two-faced diplomatic Brownism at its best. Britain’s participation in the EU-Africa summit last weekend had been based upon Brown dispatching Baroness Amos to do his dirty work, whilst telling the people at home that he would not dare attend. Now, he is dispatching Foreign Secretary David Miliband to sign the Treaty, whilst creating a signal at home that his home affairs always come first by attending a parliamentary Committee meeting. So, Brown tells the people that he will stand for British interests in Europe, but the reality is that Europe is issuing Brown with an official Treaty on how Europe will run Britain.

Fourthly, and most disgusting of all is Gordon Brown’s purported respect for the authority of a Westminster Parliament and its own parliamentary committees, which he will not only undermine with this Treaty but with the complete rejection of the European Scrutiny Committee’s findings who have said of the Treaty that it is “substantially equivalent” to the rejected Constitutional Treaty and that they continue to “hold the document under scrutiny”. If the feeble excuse of a diary appointment for a meeting with the Liaison Committee is the best that the British Prime Minister can think of, to create a diversion from the treachery at Lisbon, he is taking the British people for a bunch of fools.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Eyes Wide Shut: Danish Refuses Referendum on “Sovereignty” Grounds

James McConalogue of The European Foundation (London) said:

“After Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, concluded that Danish sovereignty would not be affected by the EU Reform Treaty, it is obvious that the Danish Parliament has reached this conclusion with their eyes wide shut. I feel that decision has not been made at the Danish Parliament at all, and this conclusion has been issued under Brussels’ coercion who want this Treaty signed on 13 December and then ratified, regardless of national democratic consent.”

“It is outrageous that the Danish Parliament would come to such a conclusion, as if they had not bothered to read let alone analyse the text before them. The Treaty clearly details power-sharing and sovereignty-surrendering – with Qualified Majority Voting being extended into substantial policy areas – which intrinsically threatens the fundamental nature of Danish sovereignty as it does with the United Kingdom. Nor has the Danish Parliament given sensible consideration for the powers accrued by the European Court of Justice, above and beyond its national courts.

“The subsequent of denial of a referendum in Denmark is a real shame. Democracy is dying its death across Europe, and frankly, more was expected from the Danish Parliament given their post-war commitment to a Europe of independent sovereign states. Time will tell what damage has been done to the various nations of Europe in the trial over the EU Reform Treaty and the refusal of national referendums.”

Monday, 10 December 2007

Let’s have a real boycott for Mugabe in Europe

"James McConalogue, Editor of the European Journal, criticises Gordon Brown for not being serious about boycotting the EU summit.

Gordon Brown’s most recent position toward the EU-Africa summit is yet another example of how impossible it is for Britain to pursue its own foreign policy through the channels of the European Union. Brown has pretended to boycott the EU summit. However, the British Prime Minister can simply not ignore the fact that the presence of Mugabe provides conditions for an official boycott of the summit. He has told the people of Britain that he could not possibly attend the summit – at which Mugabe is expected to attend – but through the backdoor, out goes his diplomatic lackey, Baroness Amos in his place. That is not a boycott in any sense of the word. " See my blog from Saturday on: Conservative Home

Friday, 7 December 2007

Geoffrey van Orden to Make New Conservative European Allies

Conservative Home reports today:

"My understanding is that Mr Chichester is far from convinced that it will be possible to form a new grouping outside of the EPP but he has given Geoffrey Van Orden MEP the task of securing new allies. Mr Van Orden has particularly strong links with Bulgarian politicians and, alongside the Czech ODS, Sofia may be the third major capital city of the new grouping."

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

The EU Reform Treaty: The Dogs Have Barked and the European Caravan Must be Stopped

--Full text of essay printed below [from The European Journal, November-December issue] --

By Bill Cash, MP

The grand European project in its modern form started in the 1920s and was kick-started again after the Second World War. Its most recent and highly unpopular endeavour is the introduction of the Reform Treaty. The Reform Treaty has been described by the European Scrutiny Committee as “substantially equivalent” to the Constitutional Treaty of 2004. Both combined all the existing Treaties with constitutionally important amendments into a new legal framework which requires a referendum on the Government’s own referendum criteria. The issues that arise in the Reform Treaty cover all the issues in the European Union, including fishing, immigration, foreign policy, criminal law and agriculture.

Never before have all the Treaties been brought together in this way with a merger of the economic Treaties of the Treaty of Rome and the Single European Act on the one hand and on the other hand the governmental Treaties, of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice, into a new Union. The massive accumulation of power that this conveys over the daily lives of the people of the United Kingdom, let alone the rest of Europe, is such that apart from individual specific changes which the Reform Treaty includes warrants a referendum for this reason alone, because it is a fundamental change in the structural constitutional relationship between the United Kingdom and Europe and between the United Kingdom Government and Parliament and its own electorate. It will make us all citizens of the new European Leviathan, without proper democratic consent. Accumulatively, the Reform Treaty has more impact than Maastricht.

It is important therefore to fully explain not only why a referendum is needed but also what the Treaties have done and why renegotiation is an absolute priority. Given the Whip system and the Government’s endorsement of the Reform Treaty, the only way of achieving renegotiation will be by forcing the Government into a referendum and then arguing the case for a ‘No’ vote, whether before or after ratification. A post-ratification referendum is already supported by 50 Conservative MPs who have supported my Early Day Motion and many more who are precluded from signing such Motions. Given the importance of the issues and the fact that the Conservative Party is, at last, fully committed to a referendum, and the deceitful manner in which the Government and other Member States in connivance with the German Presidency have collaborated in secrecy to produce this Treaty and the Government’s broken promises there is more than ample justification for tearing up this Treaty even after it has been implemented in Parliament. It has been signed by deceitful use of the Prerogative and will be rammed through by the Whips in a manner worthy of the Stuarts in the seventeenth Century whose downfall ironically led to the establishment of our democratic Parliament. This is now being undermined.

What is missing from the current debate is a real debate. Calls for a referendum will not stir the blood or feelings of those who are being betrayed unless those opposed to the Treaty step up to the plate and argue with passion and honest conviction for their cause. The deliberate playing down of these arguments in the media and in the political parties is in this modern media age an indictment of free speech on which the media harps continuously when anyone dares to impute their editorial integrity. There are some honourable exceptions but the arguments are not being heard even when they are deployed in Parliament – giving justice to the old adage that the best way to keep a secret is to make a speech in the House of Commons.

The Reform Treaty, because of its unique character in the merging of all the Treaties and with its further amendments, is more important than the Maastricht Treaty – which is saying something. It is some measure of the lack of explanation and public debate that the ‘I Want a Referendum’ campaign has so far mustered 30,000 supporters after a mere 3 months and newspaper petitions have just managed to muster 137,000 signatures. It is worth remembering that the Maastricht campaign in 1993 raised 500,000 in a petition to Parliament from every quarter of the United Kingdom simply because the rebellion provoked interest and anger. If Maastricht, why not the Reform Treaty? The opportunity to rectify this is now before us with the Prime Minister signing the Treaty in mid-December and the Bill to implement the infamous signature anticipated in January with the promised three-month debate. I have proposed, insisted upon and succeeded in inducing a debate on the floor of the House before Gordon Brown signs the Treaty – unless of course, he ignores the latest European Scrutiny Committee report.

It is useful therefore to take a landscape view of how all this has come about since 1972 and to identify the route which the caravan has taken on its course to the present day and what attempts have been made to stop it in its tracks. This time, with the Conservative Party calling for a referendum, the present campaign is based not on a necessary rebellion from within but on the need for concerted effort between the Conservative Party and the British people in the national interest in the run-up to a General Election and a change of Government. This creates a completely new dimension but must be followed up with political will, clear simple explanation and a clear strategy for a referendum followed by a ‘No’ vote.

The Birth of an Old Europe
There were two significant historical facts that led to the instituting of the original European Economic Community (EEC) – the post-war reconciliation of France and Germany and the Soviet Union threat from Eastern Europe. As I proposed in my Bow Group pamphlet in 1990, A Democratic Way to European Unity: Arguments Against Federalism, the reconciliation of France and Germany was, of course, the essential and understandable basis upon which a new peaceful order could be ensured in Western Europe, yet at the same time the European Steel and Coal Community (ECSC) had an important and different aim which had been maintained in French interests: the containment of German dominance through the control of her economy. Germany entered the ECSC and then the EEC being driven, above all, by a desire for the respectability which came from a close alliance with France, to disengage from the memories of World War II, and by the political and military realities of the threat from the East. In almost sixty years since the war, the post-reunified Germany and its national economy has not been “contained” – and leading the other 26 Member States, it has gone on to set the best example for federalising Europe in its own image through the creation of a European superstate. The cunning falsehood and deception practiced under the 2007 German Presidency, under Chancellor Merkel’s leadership, in order to lay down the framework for the Lisbon Treaty, is merely another piece of evidence of Germany’s insistence on European political unification in establishing its pre-eminence in Europe. It has, as always, taken the words ‘European Union’ literally – its political practices and aims have always driven it towards the model of absorbing nation-states under a single European state, and with the reliance of most of the new Eastern European accession states of the past twenty years, it has found willing members to create such a state beyond national boundaries in return for perceived but illusory security and financial comfort. With evermore qualified majority voting, those countries dependent on Germany economically and politically will tend to vote with her or to seek consensus. This is not a healthy state of affairs even if it can be confidently stated that Germany is not embarking on a dark European future. The way in which the Reform Treaty was engineered in secrecy under the German Presidency is not a beacon of light or grounds for complacency. It is worth remembering what Bismarck said: “I have always found the word ‘Europe’ on the lips of those who wanted something from other powers which they dared not demand in their own name.” To be governed by one European superstate is not what Britain ever wanted. As Winston Churchill said of Britain’s required relationship with Europe on 11 May 1953, ‘We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not compromised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.’

Creating Britain’s Future
I mention that the ECSC and then the EEC were founded upon a legitimate, peaceful and understandable aim, regardless of how obsolete and distorted that objective has become as the European federalist project attempts to enforce political unification. This key aim, which is very much in Britain’s national interest, can be described in two words: FREE TRADE. It is, after all, essential that Britain maintains free trade and in the global picture, builds voluntary alliances in Europe and across the globe as far as our economies and ambitions will take us and only insofar as they do not impinge upon the independence and authority of our national parliament. Britain should only ever take an interest in EU affairs insofar as a reformed and condensed EU can become a tool for better access to trade within the single market and in the global trading environment – Britain can only achieve this through the renegotiation of the binding European Treaties and removing the shackles of a European government. Once Britain opts for such a policy, many of the other Member States will realise that such a move is not only feasible, but in the best interests of their own Parliaments and in managing their national economies – and many will then join us.

The British electorate has often, in the polls, rejected the political ambitions of European integrationists. When Britain eventually joined the EEC in 1973, it was for economic reasons, reaffirmed in the 1975 referendum (which was a post-ratification referendum), and Edward Heath’s White Paper explicitly ruled out political integration or federalism.” It said: “The Community is no federation of provinces or counties. It constitutes a community of great and established nations, each with its own personality and traditions. The practical working of the Community accordingly reflects the reality that sovereign governments are represented around the table. On a question where a government considers that vital national interests are involved, it is established that the decision should be unanimous. Like any other treaty, the Treaty of Rome commits its signatories to support agreed aims; but the commitment represents the voluntary undertaking of a sovereign state to observe policies which it has helped to form. There is no question of any erosion of national sovereignty. All the countries concerned recognise that an attempt to impose a majority view in a case where one or more members consider their vital national interests to be at stake would imperil the very fabric of the Community.” Wilson did not rule out political integration in the way that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown himself has misleadingly defended his red lines on the Reform Treaty, as the European Scrutiny Committee has reported.

In the early 1970s, only a few Conservative Members of Parliament, such as Enoch Powell, had bothered to doubt Heath’s assertions, arguing that the EEC would become very much a political (and not merely economic) union. Only much later did most begin to see that Powell was right in his judgement. It was even more obvious as the Maastricht Treaty passed before Parliament – as I mentioned in my book, The Crunch back in 1992 – that the change of the ‘European Economic Community’ into ‘European Community’ meant significant political ambitions were afoot, which the Community began to provide for itself for the first time. Heath’s position ceased to be tenable, since the federalist intentions of Britain’s partners became evident for all to see. I was elected Chairman of the Conservative Backbench European Affairs Committee in 1989 on an explicitly anti-federal ticket and was asked by the then Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, to write the paper on European Policy for the Conservative manifesto Committee, in which I exposed the then Government’s policy – since published in Visions of Europe (Duckworth, 1993).

The Labour Government to its credit provided a referendum on continuing membership of the then European Economic Community, following its enactment of the Referendum Act of 1975. Yet, in Britain today, it is the accumulation of the existing Treaties since 1972, combined with the new Reform Treaty’s merging of the Treaty of Rome (European economic powers) and Maastricht (European government), which has culminated in such fundamental change as warrants a referendum. There are 27 million people who have not had an opportunity to express their view on our continuing membership of the European Union, as I pointed out to Gordon Brown on his return from Lisbon on Monday 22 October.

When Free Market Europe Turned Upside Down
To whatever extent the good intentions of Europeans have been hi-jacked by federalist groupings, the original Treaty of Rome in its very essence provided for a free market. The Treaty of Rome essentially gives rise to a single European market which greatly reduces tariffs but the problem is that protectionism is still rife and in many respects the single European market does not work in the new globalised economy. It needs, at least, radical reform. It has generated an overwhelmingly overregulated economy. When the founding treaties of the Community were signed in the 1950’s, emphasis was laid on the necessity for competition and free market forces, especially in the Treaty of Rome. It seemed that lessons had been learned from the protectionism of the inter-war period. Since then, the most significant reform in the EC’s history was the signing of the Single European Act in 1986. I recall putting down an amendment that “nothing in this Act shall derogate from the sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament” but my amendment was blocked. The only other person to sign it was Enoch Powell. The initial drive for a single European market came largely from the Thatcher Government following a major policy speech at Chatham House in March 1984 by Sir Geoffrey Howe, the then Foreign Secretary. The Government had two objectives: first, to improve the country’s relations with the Community, damaged by years of squabbling over the Community’s demonstrably unfair agricultural and budgetary mechanisms, which had severely disadvantaged Britain and second, to fulfil what was understood to be the explicit goal of the Treaty of Rome, the establishment of a free trade zone based upon economic co-operation (not “coordination”) between Member States. This involved the abolition of barriers to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital; all of which accorded well with prevailing Conservative liberal economics with the emphasis on free trade and consumer choice. The language was that of co-operation, not compulsion. However, through the successful hijacking of the SEA by the federalists, our economic intentions – largely consistent with a Conservative economic framework – for a single market programme were displaced by political objectives and as Professor John Gillingham commented in the March edition of The European Journal, it “released an avalanche of legislation from Brussels, which today overwhelms parliaments and saps the strength of representative government across the EU, imposes often senseless and harmful regulations on business enterprises and discredits the political process generally.”

Then came the Maastricht Treaty (or, The Treaty on European Union). Whereas the SEA was about free trade and commerce, Maastricht was most emphatically about federal government. I therefore organised the Maastricht Referendum Campaign which generated 500,000 signatures. I also tabled 240 amendments in my own name to the three-clause Maastricht Bill and set up the Great College Street Group, operating out of a house at Number 17 which supplied, through a dedicated research team which I convened, briefings for a stalwart band of Members of Parliament which caught the public imagination and stopped the Bill in its tracks. Meetings were convened (sometimes daily) in Room J below the Chamber of the House where we planned our strategy and tactics for months of intensive debate. Even though the SEA was more precisely formulated than the Maastricht Treaty, the Commission still successfully abused its power, accorded under Article 100A and similar provisions, and tried to interfere excessively – but the Maastricht Treaty contained no provisions for containing abuse, nor for nipping in the bud attempts to extend the Commission’s power. It was a serious failing of the Maastricht Treaty that it added significantly to the Community’s powers rather than reducing them. Maastricht itself was concocted by Germany and by the moribund French socialist Government attempting to find new ways of containing her resurgent neighbour, after President Mitterand had failed to prevent reunification itself. Germany needed a figleaf of respectability for her new assertiveness, and had for long wanted to establish a Deutsche Mark zone and a federal union modeled on herself. Germany was delighted at her successes at Maastricht. The planned European Central Bank was modeled on the German central bank. Federalism was inspired by Germany’s federal structure. All of the key demands of the Germans were fulfilled. Maastricht established a “European Union”, covering a common foreign and security policy and creating EU citizenship. It created a single European currency by 1999, which was to be issued by a European Central Bank, and powers over national education, culture, health, road and rail, telecommunications systems, environment, industrial policy and research and development and gave the European Court of Justice significant powers over the Union Member States. John Major and his political allies failed at Maastricht.

Economic and Monetary Union
Maastricht was about creating irreversible and centralising steps towards complete Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). As EMU has gone ahead, nation states have found themselves to now be in an economic – and therefore political – straitjacket, resulting in social, economic and political instability. This was made intolerable when the United Kingdom became part of the then obligatory ERM, originally and before EMU, the ERM as it was called was a voluntary arrangement from which we could have escaped. John Major allowed us to be tied into the compulsory ERM despite a vigorous campaign by the Maastricht rebels and their allies, to reverse this. It failed as we had predicted and we were ignominiously dejected on Black Wednesday, 16 September 1992. Having made clear that the ERM would be bad for Europe and bad for Britain the rebels did everything to stop it.

The ruling Conservative Government under John Major – who pushed the Treaty through – paid for it dearly at the next election (with a landslide win for Blair’s New Labour in 1997). The arguments put together in Great College Street have been proved right in the course of time, including the need for a referendum which is now Conservative policy. What has also become clear was the inevitable progression from Maastricht to the present infamous Reform Treaty. This progression was entirely clear to the opponents of Maastricht and it is interesting to note that according to Judith Chaplin’s diaries which were published after her tragic death, that every time she sent back a draft to John Major when preparing for a speech on the Maastricht Treaty, it came back more federal than it had been before.

“Wait and See” – from Major to Blair
The “wait and see” policy of John Major’s Government – which Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke readily abided by and which Tony Blair happily inherited – could have been so easily redeemed by accepting the Danish referendum ‘No’ vote in 1992 on Maastricht, by re-negotiating in the aftermath of the ERM catastrophe on 16 September 1992, and by insisting at Maastricht not on opt-outs but by the veto of the Maastricht treaty itself. The ‘Wait and See’ framework consists in making a fundamentally flawed assumption. Those who believe in the policy pretend that the European question is a matter of economic pragmatism, not of democratic principle. They say that it is matter of waiting until the time is right, in terms of economics, to abolish the pound. But it can never be right for a democratic country to abandon its own self-government. On the question of EMU the European Foundation mounted a crucial exercise to produce a comprehensive guide and critique for MPs of the then proposed EU Stability Pact, with a point by point analysis and dissemination of the then Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke's, untenable position. They have been proved right. It does not work.

Europe is a political issue, not an economic one. ‘Wait and see’ in whatever form, is based on the mistaken view that the single European currency and the other associated issues of European integration are all technical matters about economic management. Instead they are about the most fundamental issues which any democracy can face: who governs us and how? The situation remains, as David Heathcoat-Amory MP said in The European Journal (October, 2007) on the new Reform Treaty, that “[i]t is in fact the content and reality of parliamentary democracy that is at stake here. A referendum would in essence be about where people are to be governed from, and how, and whether they wish to be ruled by people they elect and can remove, or do not elect and cannot remove.” As I said in my recent European Scrutiny Committee draft report on the Reform Treaty, that contrary to the assertions of the present Foreign Secretary (David Miliband), parliamentary sovereignty is not diminished but enhanced by the granting of a referendum by parliamentary enactment. The policy of ‘wait and see’ was born out of despair. The despair itself was born out of a mixture of incomprehension of the real scale of the looming European problem and the desperate desire to hold the Conservative Party together even if in so doing it was condemned to electoral slaughter. There can be no excuse for this failure of nerve, abandonment of principle and the gross incompetence which it reflected. The tragedy is that it has not been resolved even today. It is ironic that the so-called success of Gordon Brown’s tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer praised by Tony Blair in the television programme, The Blair Years, on 18 November was despite and not because of Labour policy on Europe and their own policy on the ERM in the early 1990s.

The opportunity now presents itself in December 2007 to sort out just exactly what the Conservative Party intends to do about Europe and the Reform Treaty campaign is the vehicle. We are almost entirely united in our desire for a referendum which is a good start and David Cameron is making Gordon Brown’s life in the House of Commons very difficult indeed. What we now need is to make clear that we are aiming at fundamental renegotiation of the Treaties following a ‘No’ vote in a referendum, leading to an association of nation-states based upon economic competitiveness. This will involve overriding the 1972 Act where necessary if the renegotiations are unsuccessful. Agreement amongst 27 Member States with qualified majority voting is virtually impossible but must be attempted. If it fails then unilateral Westminster legislation becomes essential, requiring our own judiciary to obey that law. The stakes are as high now as in the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 which was the genesis of international free trade. Belatedly, Robert Peel saw the light and resigned as Prime Minister because the issue and the cause of freedom and democracy as he explained in his resignation speech had to take precedence even if recalcitrant forces resisting the national interest led by Disraeli were followed by the Conservative Party having to split. It is noteworthy that at the time of the Corn Laws, following the Tamworth manifesto of 1834, Disraeli wrote in his novel, Coningsby, “There was indeed a considerable shouting about what they called Conservative principles; but the awkward question naturally arose, ‘What will you conserve?’” The issue is now the future, not only of the Conservative Party but of the nation itself.

The issue of renegotiation is fundamental and it is unacceptable for the Conservative Party to settle for a policy that accepts Maastricht and Amsterdam or the existing Treaties without radical renegotiation. The need to grapple with the scale of renegotiation cannot be ducked. This is not ‘Europhobic’ as one of the chief architects of the Amsterdam Treaty, Malcolm Rifkind would argue but practical necessity in the 21st Century. It was actually the Conservative Party who largely negotiated Amsterdam, and Labour sealed it shortly after their election in 1997, which then came into force in May 1999. As the Conservative Government sought to sign itself up to the Treaty, they produced a White Paper in defence of their rationale for signing up to the Treaty’s objectives. Of course, there was no proper rationale so at that time, in 1996, I wrote The Blue Paper: A Response to the Government’s White Paper and was welcomed by hundreds of delegates at the European Foundation fringe meeting in Bournemouth who shared my concerns over European policy. The Treaty sought to extend qualified majority voting, added new provisions on social policy, extended the co-decision procedure, developed a common foreign and security policy, added a new flexibility clause which enabled Member States to co-operate together on policy areas which were not even within the competencies of the EC, amongst other policies. I argued then that our presence at the Intergovernmental Conference and our Party manifesto must seize the initiative by renegotiating Maastricht which, otherwise, will be inherited by Labour. As it soon became clear, Labour did inherit both Amsterdam and the federal agenda. During the debates on Amsterdam, when the House of Lords still had a Conservative majority, it would have been possible to precipitate a constitutional crisis by rejecting the Amsterdam Treaty in the House of Lords, but no attempt to do so was made. The European Foundation provided 'Treaty Packs' for all Conservative MPs to help guide the Eurorealist argument in line with the hundreds of amendments I had tabled throughout the Committee Stage of the Bill to implement the Amsterdam Treaty.

Not So Nice
The Conservative Party still dawdled on the subsequent Nice Treaty four years later (2001). The British electorate still felt the Conservative Party remained as unelectable as they were in 1997. In the Party, Kenneth Clarke’s brand of Conservatism led him to enthusiastically support the Nice Treaty. Thus, Clarke hoped that the Nice Treaty would be accepted. So, when I put pen to paper for my pamphlet in July 2001, Constructive Opposition to the Nice Treaty – the dangers of European integration, it was intended for Clarke, but also Labour and Lib Dem members who had grave misgivings about the Treaty. Nice consisted primarily of a set of amendments and modifications to existing Articles, “renegotiating” the Amsterdam Treaty, albeit in the direction of ever-closer Union. Around 43 vetoes were surrendered. This compared with 19 at Amsterdam, 41 at Maastricht, 37 in the Single European Act and 38 in the Treaty of Rome. It pushed forward subsidiarity as a lever to centralisation, which was also the great con trick of Maastricht. Whilst the EU pledged that Nice was about preparing for enlargement to 20 Members, it was as much about deepening than it ever was about extending its reach. Even the Commission President, Romano Prodi, said in Ireland at the time that enlargement didn’t require Nice after all. I then clashed with the then Minister for Europe, Keith Vaz, on January 2001 as I argued that Britain’s influence in the Council of Ministers is seriously reduced. In the Council of Ministers, Britain’s share of the votes fell from 10/87 – equivalent to 11.5 per cent of the votes – to 29/345, equivalent to 8.4 per cent of the votes. The concerns of German dominance resurfaced again: before the introduction of double majority voting in Nice, a decision required a 71.26 per cent share of the vote from votes of countries accounting for 58.16 per cent of the EU’s population, and after, in a 27-member EU, a decision had to garner 74.78 per cent share of the vote from votes of countries representing 62 per cent of the population. Thanks to this new voting procedure, Germany and two other large countries – such as France or Italy – were now able to block anything they did not like, whereas Britain needed more than two other countries to vote with her to oppose undesirable decisions. As I argued with Iain Duncan Smith in 1996, the question has always been whether we would get “a European Germany or a German Europe,” as Thomas Mann once famously said. The winners at Nice included the usual suspects: the Commission which gained from institutional changes, the European Parliament which gained co-decision powers, the ECJ which further extended its powers, the Council of Ministers continuing its transformation from an intergovernmental institution to a supranational organisation characterized by QMV and the German elites. If this was not all bad enough, it was effectively decided at Nice to draw up a European constitution in 2004 at the new IGC. The provisions in the Treaty should not have been signed by the Labour Government. Since it was my position that the Party must stand firm and renegotiate in the interests of Europe as a whole – and that Labour and the Liberal Democrats would not recognise this – it was necessary for the Conservative Party to act. The Labour Party was now on a roll, passing binding Treaties to ensure Britain’s place in the federalist project. The Liberal Democrats tend towards not only Labour agreement but openly confess their federalist credentials. The only democratic choice, thus, remained with the Conservative Party – despite Kenneth Clarke’s approach which involved giving in to further EU integration.

Constitution, Take Two – the Birth of the Reform Treaty
The Constitution for Europe then began to emerge from the inevitable progression of Conservative and Labour initiatives, all tending towards greater integration whilst absurdly disavowing federal intentions. Indeed, when it came to the second reading of the Bill for the Constitution of Europe which had, at last, opened the eyes of many Conservatives I still had to force a vote against the Bill by informing the front bench that if they did not call a vote, I had tellers ready and was willing to do so. Although this established that the Conservative Party was against the Constitutional Treaty, the leader of the Opposition at the time, Michael Howard, was notably absent and worse still, Kenneth Clarke, David Curry and Quentin Davies all voted in favour of it. In short, Labour secured a 215 majority. I then tabled some 400 amendments to the Bill which no doubt played some part in delaying, if not completely obstructing the Committee stage which never took place. As a member of the European Scrutiny Committee with the cooperation of Angela Watkinson MP, I tabled a minority report against the Constitution and numerous amendments which unsurprisingly were defeated by the Labour majority on the Committee. During this period, I raised with the Prime Minister the fundamental nature of the Constitutional Treaty and the need for a referendum, referring to the transitional provisions which repealed all the existing treaties and reconstituted them under a new constitutional arrangement and I was subsequently informed by one of the most senior members of the present administration that this question had enabled other members of the Cabinet to force Tony Blair into conceding a referendum. In the meantime, through the European Foundation and with the Chairmanship of David Waddington QC, the former Home Secretary and now in the House of Lords, I convened the European Reform Forum which took evidence from Eurosceptics and Europhiles alike, all of whom agreed that Europe needed reform. The evidence is available at:

The Conservative Party are now at last beginning to take note, open their eyes and take a critical line. It has been a long haul and much remains to be done. The original Constitution was rejected in 2005 by the French and Dutch electorates. In the meantime, a reflection period was invoked to enable Europe to regroup and to decide where to go from there. I wrote a pamphlet in 2003, rejecting the proposals for a European Constitution, entitled The European Constitution – A Political Timebomb as Shadow Attorney-General. As a way “forward”, the arguments remain as strong now as then. In 2000, I had written a pamphlet entitled Associated, Not Absorbed calling for an association of nation-states, and The Economist, having put the central arguments to people in a poll, concluded that my proposals were worth an 8 per cent swing to the Conservatives if they were adopted. I estimate that they would be worth more than 8 per cent now. Then, as a way forward, the EU has now returned to the substance of the Constitution, in the form of the Reform Treaty, now being considered by national parliaments. The 27 Member States have all given their consent for the Reform Treaty to be signed on 13 December.

The Conservative Party has made substantial progress under the leadership of David Cameron – it has pledged a referendum on the Reform Treaty so that the British electorate may, at long last, have their say on the European issue. This marked development in recognising Conservative principles has come a long way since 1986, when I fought to be heard in The Times and in many subsequent articles in that paper and elsewhere that the tides of European legislation would become oppressive unless much more was done to counter it through Parliament. What the country and the Conservative Party now needs is a sensible and realistic discussion on the practical issues of the Reform Treaty that affect our everyday lives aswell as the constitutional issues. These include changes to our energy supply, immigration policy and criminal law and other matters set out below. This is vitally important and will be a real challenge, particularly as a Conservative post-ratification referendum has not been ruled out and the Labour Party continue to refuse to hold a referendum. The Party and those campaigning for a referendum are simply not going to be able to generate the necessary interest in the Reform Treaty unless people are told why we want a ‘No’ vote. The European Scrutiny Committee, on which I sit with David Heathcoat-Amory, Greg Hands, James Clappison and Anthony Steen has produced a powerful minority report, totally undermining the Government’s arguments for the Reform Treaty. The European Scrutiny Committee is about to publish another scrutiny report, to which I have appended another minority report aswell, which amplifies the criticism of the Government’s position.

By refusing to offer a referendum – as a simple democratic obligation – Gordon Brown has put both his Party and Parliament on trial. After the Prime Minister returned to the House of Commons from the Lisbon conference, at which he agreed the drafted text of the Treaty, I made it clear to him in no uncertain terms of this case: “Does the Prime Minister accept that by refusing to hold a referendum he is putting not only himself on trial but Parliament itself? Does he not appreciate that 27 million people have been denied the opportunity of a referendum since 1975? Given the circumstances of deceit and the manner in which this treaty has been negotiated, as the European Scrutiny Committee has indicated, it is absolutely essential that we have a referendum. No wonder only 59 per cent of people bother to vote at all. Does he not understand the responsibility upon him?” Clearly he has no idea.

Europe isn’t working
We need to take a hard and realistic view in the national and European interest as to where we are going and what needs to be done. The sovereignty and constitutional arguments lie at the heart of the debate but so do the practical issues in every field. It is breathtaking how wide and deep the European legislation runs. Europe isn’t working. By its own admission, the Commission has been forced to declare that €600 billion per year is spent on over-regulation of business. Indeed, with Bill Jamieson I wrote a pamphlet, The Strangulation of Britain and British Business in March 2004 detailing this. David Cameron has made it clear that he puts economic competitiveness at the top of his list of Conservative priorities and he is right to do so but so many of the obstacles to economic competitiveness come from over-regulation that it is essential to unravel these burdens on business by legislative repeal. The issue came to a head under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill in 2006 when I proposed a formula to override European legislation by using the words “Notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972” to be included in Westminster legislation to achieve repeal where negotiations have failed and which would require the British judges to give effect to Westminster legislation where it is expressly inconsistent with European law. Having some 40 or so Conservative MPs signed up to my amendment and others ready to support it, prudence and good practical common sense prevailed and the Conservative Whips asked me if the Party could adopt my amendment to relieve the burdens on business and I readily agreed. The Amendment was then whipped through the House of Commons and some weeks later through the House of Lords. This is a vital benchmark and it is a policy that must be included in our next manifesto. This formula is the only way forward to achieve economic competitiveness in line with David Cameron’s intentions unless renegotiation improbably were to succeed. The formula can well be applied and should be applied to other areas of European legislation and policy aswell. In the new Treaty, which consolidates all the existing Treaties and therefore covers all European legislation and policy, there is ample need for the application of the ‘Notwithstanding’ formula, unless of course it becomes unnecessary by fundamental renegotiation in the wake of a ‘No’ vote, following a referendum. It is clear that the stakes are high but that the cause is great in the national interest. To be specific, on the Reform Treaty, there are a number of issues to be dealt with, which include the following:

The crisis of immigration: The already mismanaged EU immigration crisis has rightly caused such deep concern to the UK electorate will worsen under the Reform Treaty. In an amendment to the Treaty establishing the European Community, the revised Article 61 asserts that the European Union “… shall ensure the absence of internal border controls for persons and shall frame a common policy on asylum, immigration and external border control, based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third-country nationals. For the purpose of this Title, stateless persons shall be treated as third-country nationals.” Under Article 69b of the Treaty, the Union will gain the capacity “to develop a common immigration policy aimed at ensuring, at all stages, the efficient management of migration flows, fair treatment of third-country nationals residing legally in Member States …”, with the Council and Parliament adopting measures in many areas, including “the conditions of entry and residence, and standards on the issue by Member States of long-term visas and residence permits, including those for the purpose of family reunion”, “the definition of the rights of third-country nationals residing legally in a Member State…” and also “…illegal immigration and unauthorised residence, including removal and repatriation of persons residing without authorization…”. Of equal concern, the Union is entitled to “conclude agreements with third countries for the readmission to their countries of origin or provenance of third-country nationals who do not or who no longer fulfill the conditions for entry, presence or residence in the territory of one of the Member States.” Despite this gross intervention in Member State immigration policy, it is still asserted that “this Article will not affect the right of Member States to determine volumes of admission of third-country nationals coming from third countries to their territory in order to seek work, whether employed or self-employed.” Immigration is very much at the top of many people’s political agenda and is inextricably bound up with the Human Rights Act, which has led to a series of judicial interpretations, contrary to the proper balance between public safety and terrorism. As I said to the Prime Minister, “we need British law for British judges and British judges for British law”. We also need the repeal of the Human Rights Act, as I proposed when I was Shadow Attorney-General and which David Cameron has rightly reaffirmed. The issue also encompasses the vexed question of control orders. The control order legislation which is designed around the HRA must be repealed, but as my Prevention of Terrorism, No. 2 Bill also said, alleged suspects must be given habeas corpus, a fair trial and due process. The Government seems to think that it is possible to reconcile the HRA with policies to enforce public safety but they are mistaken. The issue is coming to a head this session with new counter-terrorism proposals and the Conservative Party is moving down the right path. Illegal immigration has to be properly assessed and also the actual number of foreign nationals must be statistically obtainable. There is complete chaos on numbers as there is with deportation and in every nook and cranny of this whole subject of immigration, most of which is derived from European legislation. It has to be handled with clarity and with firmness but also with some sensitivity but it is out of control and much of the cause of this is European-based legislation. I am shortly introducing a Bill, requiring local authorities, who in their electoral roll forms ask for details of nationality for each household. This is information which if they were under a legal duty to supply it to the national statistical office, would go a along way to establishing the accuracy of the numbers of foreign nationals from each and every country in the EU and elsewhere and their whereabouts. This would do much to resolve the chaotic lack of statistics which currently prevails.

No Say Over UK Energy: It is utterly unacceptable for Europe to control the UK’s energy policy and also for foreign policy reasons. Article 100, paragraph 1, demands that “… the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy.” I am now seeking a debate on the use of the vast quantities of British coal which could continue to supply us with virtually limitless energy in a mix with nuclear and gas but would enable us to avoid over-reliance, indeed our being under the thumb of Russian gas supplies and the foreign policy dangers that this carries. I voted against the Conservative Government’s proposals to close down the pits under the Europhiliac Michael Heseletine because I was certain that we must preserve our coal for future generations in this country and that the dash for gas was a dangerous folly. This would be made even worse by subsuming our energy policy under the Reform Treaty and leave us exposed to a European jurisdiction in this vital area of national interest.

British Foreign Policy on the Cusp: We have every reason to be concerned that the UK will be subject to the baleful requirements of a new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, given Article 280d relating to enhanced cooperation that “The request of the Member States which wish to establish enhanced cooperation between themselves within the framework of the common foreign and security policy shall be addressed to the Council. It shall be forwarded to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who shall give an opinion on whether the enhanced cooperation proposed is consistent with the Union’s common foreign and security policy, and to the Commission, which shall give its opinion in particular on whether the enhanced cooperation proposed is consistent with other Union policies.” This gives direct responsibility to the Union and in fact is presupposed by the idea that the Union will determine foreign policy above and beyond the Member States. The rejected Constitutional Treaty detailed the proposal for a European Foreign Minister, which was simply replaced with a High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. As with the Constitutional Treaty, the jurisdiction of ECJ was not excluded in respect of how the Union provided for a duty on Member States actively and unreservedly to support the Union’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP) even though the ECJ had no jurisdiction in relation to CFSP. This is why the European Scrutiny Committee welcomed a “clarification (by a new Article 11(1) EU) that the ECJ will not have jurisdiction, save in respect of monitoring compliance with the provisions Article III-308 (which preserve the non-CFSP competences of the institutions) and in relation to the legality of restrictive measures imposed on natural or legal persons.”

Charter of Fundamental Rights: The application of the Charter to the UK via the Reform Treaty would mean changes to the rights to strike and the creation of a plethora of rights to protect criminals and terrorists whilst jeopardising public security – as has the European Convention on Human Rights, enforced by judicial interpretation in UK law through the Human Rights Act of 1998. The ECJ – with its newly accrued powers – would feed the Charter into UK law, as the European Scrutiny Committee reported. Despite the so-called guarantees which would change the rights to strike, the Committee has been vigorously critical of the UK’s totally inadequate so-called protection for the United Kingdom in the Reform Treaty.
Europe isn’t working now under the existing arrangements provided for by the European Treaties. This new Reform Treaty not only exacerbates these effects, all of which have greatly affected our daily lives but it extends the powers of the ECJ above and beyond the authority of the national courts. Our short term solution is to push for a referendum and then campaign for a ‘No’ vote; our long-term solution is the fundamental renegotiation of the existing Treaties which have fundamentally altered the relationship between the British people, the UK Parliament and the European Union. We must unravel the undemocratic European superstate which is being created, even as the dogs bark.

Conservative Party and a “Renegotiation referendum”
The UK Parliament itself, given that the Labour Government is unlikely to do so, should at the initiative of Conservative opposition or backbench amendment at the very least override the European Communities Act 1972 to guarantee the red lines, including the Charter of Fundamental Rights, during the passage of the Bill to implement this now infamous Reform Treaty. This is how the Reform Bill was amended in 1867. This would be in line with my amendment adopted and whipped by the Conservative Party in both the Lords and the Commons to reduce the burdens on business in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill on 16 May 2006 and which is good law. Of course, David Miliband and the legal adviser to the Foreign Office in the European Scrutiny proceedings could not deny that such a provision would guarantee the red lines but they made clear that it was not Government policy to do so.

Given that the importance of this is so fundamental, it is essential that David Cameron recognises that it is necessary to pledge a referendum, even after it is ratified. As long as the Conservative leadership pledges a post-ratification referendum with conviction, the opportunity for the “renegotiation” of Britain’s position within Europe remains possible. The leadership must begin by endorsing the Early Day Motion (EDM) which I proposed and has now been signed by 50 Tory MPs, calling for a referendum “before or after ratification.” I have already explained above that there is no constitutional bar to this because after all that is exactly what Harold Wilson did in 1975.

“Fundamental renegotiation” must be David Cameron’s long-term policy on Europe for the Party to have a credible agenda. A referendum must be achieved and a ‘No’ vote must follow and then the renegotiation of all the existing Treaties. As the EDM says – “the Reform Treaty is a consolidation of the existing treaties into a merger of the European Community into a European Union involving substantial, fundamental, constitutional and structural change by the Government's own criteria for a Referendum”. The European Foundation has been campaigning for fourteen years for the renegotiation of the binding European Treaties, and the relationship which the country which has with the European Union. There is no other credible and diplomatic way out of our troubled relationship with Europe. As Bernard Jenkin MP told ConservativeHome recently: “The question is not whether there should be renegotiation, but how it should be achieved.”

David Cameron and William Hague have done well in calling for a referendum on this Treaty. However, a recent poll by ConservativeHome on 30 October shows the importance of getting his message right on Europe. Whilst 77 per cent of Conservative supporters agree that the EU Treaty amounts to a significant surrender of British powers, there are 63 per cent who support the idea that if the Treaty is ratified, they would support a referendum that mandated the incoming Conservative Government to renegotiate back to the idea of a free trade area. Put in context, then, this is not a mere referendum for referendum’s sake. It goes back to what I have been saying throughout Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice: this referendum must take us back to the renegotiation of the Treaties. It was also disconcerting to read in a recent YouGov poll that 80 per cent of people from all political parties and none want a referendum but that 66 per cent of them said that not having one would not make any difference to how they voted in a general election. In other words, the message that the Reform Treaty matters to their daily lives has not been convincingly explained. The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats who are in favour of it have no incentive to get the message across. The Conservatives on the other hand have every reason to do so for all the reasons set out above but so far have not managed the task. There is an absolute necessity to raise the stakes to explain where Europe has gone wrong and why we need a referendum, a ‘No’ vote and fundamental renegotiation. As William Hague has said, endorsing what David Cameron wrote to me in a reply to a letter I wrote him, “we cannot let matters rest there”, if the Government does not concede a referendum now.

The New Campaign for Democracy and Freedom
There are three phases of the campaign to come, in which the Conservative Party must be seen to be act vigorously with conviction and explaining what is at stake in the national interest or again, impale itself on the thorns of Europe. The lessons from this essay are that althought much has yet to be achieved, it is only by persistent and determined vigilance at every twist and turn of the European integration process that pressure has successfully moved the Conservative Party policy in the right direction. This achievement has often gone unnoticed but in the landscape of the debate since the end of the Second World War, the European caravan is still very much on the move. The dogs have barked the warning, and have brought down the quarry where referendum’s have produced a ‘No’ vote. However, the relentless European project has wrestled free on each occasion – although the Eurosceptics have been proved tenaciously right. Only when Britain exerts its democratic strength and political force will Europe as a whole respond. That is why a referendum on the Reform Treaty in the United Kingdom is so essential.
What therefore has to be done?

1. Between now and the publication of the Bill in January is a window of opportunity to (i) persuade Brown to put in a referendum clause on the approaching Bill by realistically and emphatically targeting his marginal seats. Each MP in those 120 seats must be made to realise that failure to hold a referendum will lose him/her a seat in Parliament. Generalised opinion polling will not achieve this objective. It has to be a personal canvas in each seat. The same policy should also be applied to the marginal seats of other parties; (ii) to step up the campaign for a referendum backed by practical reasons why people should cast a ‘No’ vote, making them first, curious, second, interested and third, angry.

2. After the publication of the Bill in January, the aim must be to force Brown into a referendum or defeat on the Treaty in both the House of Commons and the Lords (although present indications are not good), and reinvigorating the campaign in Labour marginal seats. Indeed, if a referendum did produce a ‘No’ vote, it would in practice lead to the setting up of an Intergovernmental Conference with Britain in the lead, leading to fundamental renegotiation of the Reform treaty, at which point many other Member States would back us.

3. If a Bill goes through without a referendum clause, then it will be necessary for the Conservative Party to campaign in its manifesto for a referendum by a separate Act of Parliament i.e. post-ratification referendum under a Conservative Government.
Bill Cash is the Member of Parliament for Stone and was Shadow Attorney General from 2001 to 2003.