Wednesday, 12 December 2007

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.

No comments: