Thursday, May 31, 2007

David Heathcoat-Amory MP at the Bruges Group

Listen to the speech of 16th May from the link below: "What the EU plans for us"

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

EU Qualified Majority Voting

INTRODUCTION to EU explanation on decision making:

The Treaty of Amsterdam extended the scope of qualified majority voting to the Council. Since it entered into force on 1 May 1999, the Council has adopted most legislative instruments by qualified majority, in codecision with the European Parliament.

However, the unanimity rule still applies in the case of 73 articles. With a membership of 27 countries after enlargement, this could paralyse the Union, as its greater size and diversity would make unanimity increasingly difficult to achieve. ........... The Nice Treaty introduced qualified majority voting into some 30 provisions.

Note especially this strange reference from the same EU explanation on the Nice Treaty voting changes:

Article 40A - Enhanced cooperation in the area of police and judicial cooperation

The Treaty of Nice maintains qualified majority voting for authorisation by the Council of enhanced cooperation in the area of police and judicial cooperation. The right of veto by a Member State has been dropped.

Unanimity versus Majority Voting

Anybody who has chaired a multinational committee as I did for several years will be fully aware of the difficulties and time required to achieve unanimity. A committee with executive powers can agree by unanimity to change its own internal voting arrangements so that in certain cases and over certain issues unanimity will be deemed to have been achieved if those assenting exceed a certain lower percentage figure, preferably something neatly framed running to several percentage figures precisely calculated to empower a particular block of voters. Where it is not possible to change the terms under which the committee was established, defeated minority voting members could bind themselves to in future change their votes once defeated to ensure that the original principle of unanimty has theoretically been met. Machinations such as that mentioned above are entirely feasible when there are no obligations to publicize details of the inner workings or agreements of such a committee or where there is no regulatory body overseeing the committee, all of which applies to the European Council. Why then has this worrying announcement of Monday's meeting between PM Prodi of Italy and French President Sarkozy not been further reported in the English and particularly the British press: France and Italy "are united by a common will to reinforce the European institutions," Prodi said at a news conference in Paris after his meeting with Sarkozy. He said the two countries were going into a European summit next month with "common goals" — including changing the way decisions in the 27-member bloc are made to allow for majority rule in some cases (my emphasis), as well as the establishment of a European presidency and the post of EU foreign minister. The extract is from the IHT linked from here. Of even greater concern is the UK Conservative Party's total obsession with Grammar Schools and silence on the Blair/Brown arrangements for the Berlin summit!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More haste less sovereignty!

Speed seems to be ever more the guiding principle behind the simplified EU constitutional treaty. Why one must wonder? The EU has continued its regulatory way for months since the French and Dutch NO! The following is an extract from an article in today''s IHT linked here, with my emphasis of the word 'swiftly':

Sarkozy said Wednesday that efforts to build a consensus around a more modest constitutional treaty were "making headway."

"We need to move forward, and a simplified treaty is the way forward," he said.

The simplified treaty he outlined during his election campaign would strip out all the symbolic language from the original charter and retain only major institutional changes aimed at streamlining decision-making, chief among them a stable presidency that would replace the current rotating one; an EU foreign minister, though possibly with a less contentious title; and an extension of qualified majority voting to areas like immigration, where unanimity rules often block decisions.

Crucially, Sarkozy has pledged to ratify the new treaty in a parliamentary vote rather than by referendum.

Sarkozy's spokesman, David Martinon, said: "A simplified treaty is the most credible working hypothesis. It's the only solution that can deal with the institutional crisis swiftly."

So far, the EU remains split on the matter. France's idea of a bare-bones document is shared by the Netherlands, which also rejected the constitution in a referendum two years ago. The need for speed is highly suspect and indicates a drive to complete the sovereignty sell-out while the departing Blair can shoulder any subsequent blame without crippling future Labour Party electability. The response to the question about Gordon Brown attending the Berlin meeting quoted in the post below, adds support to that theory.

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Britain and Sarkozy's fast-tracked simplified constitution

The following exchange took place at yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions in parliament: 23 May 2007 : Column 1274

Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) (Lab): Will the Prime Minister invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accompany him to the European Union summit? Does he realise that not to do so would appear churlish and discourteous and that the British people require that the Prime Minister-elect be there, accompanying him and sharing in decisions that cannot be reversed?

The Prime Minister: I assure my hon. Friend that the position that is taken in the European summit will be the position of the Government. We have already set out that position: we do not want a constitutional treaty; we want a simplifying amending treaty, and I am sure that we will manage to get it.


The following is the opening of the latest electronic newsletter from Brussels by Roger Helmer MEP:

Angela Merkel and the Constitution

The German Presidency has sent out an interrogatory to member states about reintroducing the EU Constitution. It proposes "using different terminology without changing the legal substance, for example with regard to the title, the denomination of legal acts and the Minister for Foreign Affairs", and also "replacing the Charter of Fundamental Rights with a short cross reference having the same legal value" (my emphasis).

This is dishonest. It is downright deliberate deceit. They will tell us that it is a new, less threatening "treaty" when they know that the legal effect is unchanged. They will subvert the independence of our country with a lie. Words fail me. But to be forewarned is to be forearmed.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sarkozy's mini-Treaty ploughs on

Blair at PMQ today ignored the suggestion that constitutionally Gordon Brown should attend the June Berlin summit where Britain's independence looks ever more likely to be sacrificed. In Brussels this evening the signs of the form of the sell-out became ever clearer as Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed his election meant an effective end to the French referendum constitutional veto as repeatedly pointed out on this blog. An early report from The Scotsman on the French President's visit is linked here. The following is an extract from that report:

Sarkozy's inaugural visit to EU headquarters was part of an accelerating drive led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to seek a deal at the June 21-22 Brussels summit.


Barroso told reporters a consensus was emerging among EU leaders in support of Sarkozy's idea of a simplified treaty.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country also voted against the constitution in 2005, told the European Parliament he was sure a compromise on a slimmed-down treaty was possible, provided national parliaments were given more say.

In another sign of improving prospects for an agreement, Poland's Eurosceptical foreign minister, Anna Fotyga, said she was "moderately optimistic" a deal could be reached next month.

Sarkozy said the treaty should contain core reforms in the defunct constitution, such as a long-term president of the EU, a foreign minister and a streamlined voting system. France would ratify it by parliament rather than risking another referendum.

Strengthening signs for a Sovereignty Sellout

The Telegraph's political team today return to the topic of the coming EU constitutional summit next June, the article is linked here. While short of any firm conclusion itself the following extracts surely show up enough danger signs, I have put my main concerns in bold : Although Mr Blair will attend a crucial EU summit in Brussels on June 21-22 to decide what to do with the defunct constitutional treaty, he and other European leaders will merely sign a "framework" deal that will leave sensitive issues to be thrashed out at the start of the Brown premiership. "Much of the nitty-gritty, difficult work will carry over into the IGC," said a senior Foreign Office official involved in the negotiations. "The summit will set the framework but there will be a lot left to do. It will not all be sorted by the time Blair goes." ....Mr Brown does not want to begin his premiership by blocking reforms that are seen as necessary to allowing a community of 27 nations to function.... Mr Blair is prepared to see key elements of the constitutional treaty revived, including the plans for an EU foreign minister, a permanent president, changes to the voting system to meet the needs of the large EU community, and reforms of the European Commission. There may also be a commitment to look at areas where national vetoes could be removed. It seems to this observer that the only means of meeting all the various individual objectives and contradictions mentioned in the article, plus those of the other large countries, will be for Blair to agree to a sweeping loss of sovereignty while pretending he has done nothing of the sort and Brown sweeping it through a whipped parliament in his Labour Party honeymoon period.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lucky France

Yesterday France's new president took office having been elected by two national ballots with 85 per cent participation. Today his new Prime Minister took office and will shortly announce the reported 14 new cabinet members. The country is alive with anticipation over what will be the dramatic changes that have been forecast. There will be a full general election in June! Across the Channel in Britain after a year of indecision Tony Blair, who was re-elected in 2005 on a promise to serve a full term as PM, has finally announced he will depart on 27th June. At lunchtime today the governing Labour Party has announced that the next PM will be the Scottish Gordon Brown whose countrymen yesterday appointed Alex Salmon a Nationalist as their own First Minister. A Labour Party so cowed and controlled that 313 of its elected MPs nominated the same reportedly deeply "flawed and Stalinist" individual. Tony Blair is in the US. His Cabinet listed below are mostly on the way out or disgraced and there are none with any reputation of competence remaining (see my notes in red). Yet they will effectively be running the country for the next six weeks. The next Prime Minister is not even to be allowed to attend the crucial EU meeting in Berlin, on which read more in our post below of a couple of days ago. Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service The Rt Hon Tony Blair MP (Mostly planning to be abroad) Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State The Rt Hon John Prescott MP (Disgraced and departing) Chancellor of the Exchequer The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP (PM Designate) Leader of the House of Commons, Lords Reform and Party Funding The Rt Hon Jack Straw MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP (Disgraced over DEFRA and huge EU fine) Secretary of State for Trade and Industry The Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP (Tipped as next Chancellor and clearly bored with Post Offices in Commons today) Secretary of State for the Home Department The Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP (Departure announced and Department sundered) Secretary of State for Health The Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt MP (Latest Junior Doctors fiasco should have required resignation this week) Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP (No comment really necessary) Cabinet Office Minister and for Social Exclusion and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Secretary of State for Wales The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP (Campaigning for Deputy Party Leadership) Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council The Rt Hon Baroness Amos Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor The Rt Hon Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC Secretary of State for International Development The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP (Campaigning for Deputy Party Leadership) Secretary of State for Education and Skills The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP (Campaigning for Deputy Party Leadership) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government The Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP Secretary of State for Work and Pensions The Rt Hon John Hutton MP Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Rt Hon David Miliband MP Secretary of State for Defence The Rt Hon Des Browne MP Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland The Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP Minister without Portfolio The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP (Campaigning for Deputy Party Leadership) Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip The Rt Hon Jacqui Smith MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP Also attending Cabinet Minister for Europe in the FCO The Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP Minister for Trade in the FCO and the DTI The Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP Lords Chief Whip and Captain of the Gentlemen at Arms The Rt Hon Lord Grocott Attorney General The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith QC (In case Cash for Honours crops up?)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Constitutional Treaty Chaos

Can 27 nations agree an EU Constitution? Even more critically can they then get it ratified? The report from EurActiv appearing a quarter of an hour ago, linked here, on a disagreement between the Czech and Italian PM's highlights the difficulties. Indeed the very idea of agreement on terms, let alone ratification now seems preposterous. So what next? It appears to this observer that the larger member states will present a set of agreed operational procedures at the Berlin meeting which smaller countries will be asked to accept or be left behind. For Britain, who will be represented by Tony Blair scheduled to resign straight after the meeting, the questions this will raise regarding parliamentary perusal and subsequent accountability seem crucial, especially as these events seem set to occur as parliament will be about to rise for its months long summer recess. Will even his successor as PM really know exactly what Blair has agreed for his countrymen? Surely as that successor will almost certainly be well known in advance of the Berlin summit, it should be he who represents the nation at that meeting as only he can answer to Parliament as PM thereafter!

Monday, May 14, 2007

No Intergovernmental Conference on Constitution replacement?

The following is from a report in today's Financial Times, linked here:

Ms Merkel, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, spent the weekend in talks with her Portuguese and Slovenian counterparts – next in line for the hot seat – as well as José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, and Hans-Gert Pottering, European parliament president.

Already the strategy is clear. Ms Merkel wants the June summit to agree all but the finest details of a new treaty to replace the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005, focusing on modernising EU rules and institutions.

The deal would be done at the first European summit attended by Nicolas Sarkozy, incoming French president, and the last attended by Tony Blair, UK prime minister. Crucially for Ms Merkel, the sceptical Gordon Brown, Mr Blair’s presumed successor, would still be in the wings.

“Sarkozy is the best outcome for Merkel because of speed,” says a Berlin-based diplomat. “He’s committed to agreeing a new treaty quickly and to have it ratified quickly in parliament.”

José Socrates, Portuguese prime minister, told the Financial Times he was “confident” of a positive outcome at the June summit. Although refusing to set out a timetable for the subsequent Intergovernmental Conference under his presidency, he said: “I would prefer it to be done in a rapid way.”

Maybe the new procedures to speed and ease EU administration will simply be agreed within the European Council and implemented without the wider public ever knowing exactlywhat they might be?


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Waiting for Gordon

I would link and credit the originator of this amusing item if I knew who they were or where it first appeared. I trust they do not mind my giving it wider circulation.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blair meets Sarkozy

The following is from this morning's Gulf Times, linked here, there is of course hardly any coverage in the British media: "The two leaders greeted each other with smiles and warm handshakes before a meeting that was to focus on EU and G8 summits next month. The pair held talks at Sarkozy’s temporary offices and then dined at a top Paris restaurant. Blair flew back to London later in the evening. Blair shares common ground with Sarkozy on many issues, including moves to introduce a slimmed-down version of the EU constitutional treaty rejected by French voters in 2005. “With Nicolas Sarkozy, you can anticipate the discussions will cover key forthcoming international meetings such as the EU, looking at the treaty, and obviously the G8......."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blair - Britain's last Prime Minister

So the man who has destroyed his own country is to go at last, for make no mistake the Britain for whose future he became responsible in 1997 today no longer exists! Many wild claims will be made over the next few weeks not just by the liar himself but also of course in the national media his government now controls, its subservient national broadcaster the BBC has already started on its Today programme this morning. We have had a foretaste in the TV pictures from Northern Ireland earlier this week when the former non-democratic nationalist leaders led by the octogenarian Paisley proved only that Blair's first law of politics - anything and anyone can be bought - seemed to be convincingly displayed. Have the younger firebrands on each side of the sectarian divide been similarly converted one must wonders? History alone can judge on that, but already other verdicts on the Blair treachery can be declared. Uncontrolled, unmonitored and irreversible mass immigration from every corner of the globe has destroyed the British systems of government beyond repair. Singling out the failed NHS for constant media reporting usefully disguises this fact. Devolution has clearly destroyed the United Kingdom. The aftermath of the invasion of Iraq has been a mess, but the damage to his own country will, I suspect, come to be seen as more severe. From Blair and Brown's perspective it probably will have the consolation of effectively seeing off the army as well as the ethos of service on which it once ran. The Navy it seems had already been subverted and completely undermined. As warned on this blog, although today we might get a date for Blair's departure, his greatest act of treachery in the EU appears yet to come. We will of course be commenting fully on that as information on the means seeps out.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Metric Martyr Victory - BBC Shame

The striking victory for the metric martyrs, report here, marks a small step in the war against rigid state control and unnecessarily overbearing government. How far such control has become a part of accepted daily life was illustrated in the interview of Neil Herron on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning when the BBC mindless clone, this time John Humphreys, implied that it would have been preferable for his six year old son to later become liable to criminal penalties for the use of imperial measurements. Listen from this link (interview at 0732 after the news item) how the presenters of the BBC main flagship current affairs programme have become mere mouthpieces for the authoritarian propaganda state. Congratulations to Neil, Colin and all the other Metric Martyrs plus all the others in the country such as Tony Bennet who have sacrificed many hours of their time and encountered prosecution and vilification for our right to stick to our time-tested measurements.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blair's final treachery

The following is from a lead report in today's Sunday Telegraph, linked here: Whitehall officials are concerned about Mr Blair's desire to stay on and attend two major summits in June, a G8 meeting of world leaders and a European Council in Brussels.

The latter will see Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, put forward a new set of proposals for a Brussels power-grab which would not need to be endorsed by referendums in member states.

Two years ago, a formal EU constitution, signed by all member states, was scrapped after "No" votes in referendums in France and Germany. (Editors note - actually it was Holland, so much for the accuracy of modern journalism and Patrick Hennessy Political Editor of the Sunday Telegraph in particular!)

Civil servants fear Mr Blair will sign up to moves extending the 48-hour maximum working week to more people, which business believes could cost £9 billion, and plans to give European judges greater say over Britain's criminal law.

The proposals would also lead to a permanent and powerful EU president and a "foreign minister" with a seat on the UN Security Council. None of this should come as a surprise. Indeed Nicolas Sarkozy in his televised debate this week spelt out precisely what was about to occur as this blog reported here AND indeed has been warning over many months. Sarkozy by announcing his intention to sign up to such arrangements in advance of his election has at a stroke negated the earlier French rejection of the Constitution, the Dutch are small enough to be ignored, the Germans were never going to be asked and Britain as usual will be kept in the dark by its treacherous leaders, bought and cowed MPs and supine media. Leading civil servants and Whitehall officials, courtesy of the Sunday Telegraph, might at last have summoned the courage to warn of what is afoot, but where is a leader of any opposition who is ready to fight by any means to prevent such an unconstitutional betrayal?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

England and the Union

Much attention will be turned to Scotland tomorrow as the MSM breathlessly report what they will say is the future of the United Kingdom. It would be better if they, but more importantly voters in England today, pondered on the likely final arbiters in that matter, namely the majority nationality in the island of Great Britain - the English. Simon Heffer in yesterday's Telegraph had his say, read here. Even the EU Referendum blog, mainly concerned with matters military of late, has noticed the growing political importance of the growing sense of injustice within England, link here. The following was the petition delivered to the Scot and likely next PM Gordon Brown on 1st May: Dear Mr. Brown, Re: Justice for England – on the 300th Anniversary of the British Union Today the representatives of a number of English organisations present a petition demanding a Parliament for England and an end to attempts by your party and government to break England into unwanted Euro Regions – we will not permit the end of England as a nation state. We demand that England is given the same right to debate her form of devolution and be given a national referendum in the same way both Scotland and Wales were given a debate and referendum. We demand an end to non-English elected MPs deciding on English Only Matters, and having responsibility for English Departments of State when they have no mandate from the English electorate to manage these affairs on our behalf. We demand to see an end to anti-English discrimination in respect of access to life saving drugs, which are routinely denied to the English but are made available to the rest of the Union. We demand to see an end to top-up fees which only apply to English students leaving the rest of the Union free from such punitive taxes on education. We demand to see an end to the Barnett Formula which places an unfair tax burden on the people of England and creates unfairness in the provision of public services within the Union. We want St. George’s Day to be celebrated as a National Holiday on the 23rd April and for England to be properly recognised as a nation and have her culture publicly celebrated. We want English pensioners to have the same care, access to services, assistance with heating/insulation as is given to other parts of the Union. We demand an end to anti-English discrimination in all its forms and insist that the Government respect our democracy and move quickly to proportional representation as in Scotland & Wales If the Union, on its 300th Anniversary continues to deny the people of England basic equal rights with the other nations that form the Union, then the value and benefit of the Union to England is in doubt – if the Union is to last then it is up to you to demonstrate it is a fair and just institution. Today the organisations that form this deputation represent over 1 ½ million people and we would ask that you carefully consider the issues we have raised and seek urgently to rectify the manifest unfairnesses which now threaten to undermine the future of our country. Yours sincerely Justice for England

Sarkozy, the EU and Democracy's death

Well we had to wait until the dying moments of last evening's clash between the French Presidential candidates but at the third prompting from interlocuter PPDA the EU was addressed. The Daily Telegraph report on the TV debate is here. As we have already reported here, here and most significantly here, Nicolas Sarkozy's position on the failed Constitutional Treaty is quite clear, he re-iterated it again last evening most forcefully and clearly, my own summary of his basic position is the following: === The Constitution is finished and it is pointless even trying to revive it. There are elements of the failed Treaty that are essential for the smooth running of the EU such as an elected President and dropping the national veto in certain crucial areas such as immigration. These changes will therefore be imposed as an administrative formality!==== At least the French will know what they will get with President Sarkozy before he is elected to head their nation, although the woolly minded nonsense spouted by his opponent throughout thetelevised debate leaves thinking voters with little other choice. As Blair half announces his departure this week, in typical style he apparently plans to assent to these administrative changes without informing his duped electorate or it appears Parliament. As Mr Sarkozy explained, his position is the same as that being pushed by Germany's Merkel, Britain's Blair and Spain's Zapatero. On the Radio 4 Today programme this morning a Dutchman asked about the potential loss of their largest Bank ABN Amro to British raiders implied that the Dutch man on the street was becoming beyond care having lost their steel industry to British Steel, Corus and their successors and their airline KLM to the French. He did not have to expound further, how then must the Dutch now feel at their democratic rejection of the Constitution being thus ignored?

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