Sunday, 8 November 2009

An analysis of the EU policy

One cannot propose that I have uttered the most intelligent of words on the recently announced EU policy for the Tory party. Certainly I exhumed my great dissatisfaction at the blatant non-functionality of the entire ordeal which currently functions as 'policy' for the party, and in the process was castigated at the Crème de la crème of Tory grassroots movement; Conservative Home. I have explained why I see no fault on their behalf for destroying my person, after all they are trying to win an election so who could blame them, alas we shall not dwell deeper into that little chestnut. Yet in my book, whitewashing lies and contradictions of geopolitical proportions is, well, just not very clever. The lie might have travelled half way around the world even before the truth has got its boots on, but eventually the truth-with boots-will catch up much like tortoise eventually caught up with the stroppy and arrogant hare.

As such Mr. Cameron has kicked the EU issue into the long grass as it currently stands and the eurosceptic majority of the party have accepted this, for now. They have accepted, erroneously in my opinion, that a major clash with the EU will do nothing for their chances and assuming that the leadership really is eurosceptic (which I highly doubt) then they must have made very careful calculations as to what their future policy on the EU might be. Sure it is a great soundbite to say that 'never again shall power be passed to the EU without a referendum' - it sounds great, it really does, but it is a soundbite with a clever calculation. It assumes quite rightly that most people have no idea how much power Brussels already has and that there is simply not any real power left for Brussels to get once Lisbon comes into force on the 1st of December. Most people are not well versed in EU law - how could they be? They are not familiar with the principles of 'engrenage' (gearing of power) nor the principle of 'Acquis communautaire' (the power which has been required by the EU stays with the EU). And one cannot blame them either for these are remarkably boring and difficult concepts which only a few master; eurocrats, bureaucrats and eurosceptics not politicians (if that were so then phrases like "British jobs for British workers" could have been avoided).

Cameron's policy is thus naive and quite foolhardy for he knows that his policy, as it stands, will not work - he cannot claw back powers for that would require the explicit consent of the other 26 nations (QMV system). This is on the same scale as the Lisbon Treaty not being the Constitution; everyone knew it was yet the government kept denying it. Well, Cameron and co. will be the government in a few months time and they will be challenged in one years time at the very least, as to what has been going on with their EU policy. We will see that all the bullet points in the policy; the referendum pledge on future powers, the ratchet clause approval of parliament before usage, social and employment law recall and the reversal of 'acquis communautaire' were all in vain. He has also said that if his demands are not met he might hold a referendum on something - this something is the very core of this post for that 'something' could turnout to be far worse for the Tories than what they now think they have cleverly dodged.

If Cameron had given a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty he would have a strong position to go to the EU with. With his grand standing respect for EU Law ("It is law, we cannot stop this treaty as little as we can stop the sun from shining") he could have used the same principle for himself, if not all 27 nations have ratified the treaty it cannot become law. Labour ratified the treaty but the British parliament runs on the long standing and very much respected tradition that no parliament is bound by another; what Tony and Gordon did is not law for David. What is more nations nearly always only pay lip-service to the treaties they sign in the name of their people. The USA withdrew from the anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001 - certainly a lot more important for global peace than the Lisbon treaty. Repudiating a treaty is a real act and not inanimate as the leadership appears to think. Yet Mr. Cameron does not have enough 'chutzpah' to pull of such a move for he might in all his haste upset someone and that he could not bring himself to do, now that he has relaunched the Tory party as 'Compassionate Conservatism'.

This is as sure as day follows night; Dave cannot accomplish any of the subclauses of his EU policy. It is not possible and the other member states will not stand for it. Hence he will, if we are to take him for his word (the irony...), have to hold a referendum. But, and this is critical, what would that referendum be on? The Lisbon treaty? In or Out? Multiple Option referendum (In/Out, Rejoin EFTA, status quo, full EU membership, Schengen and the Euro and other possible options)? This person's humble opinion is that anything but a wholesale referendum on the EU is futile. We need to know where we stand if we are to be assimilated into another nation, if we consent then fine I will lay down my sword and go with the flow but if we reject this proposal then 'out' must mean out.

For now Mr. Cameron has dodged the issue, it is for another day, but while he is quietly gathering his powers to win the election, the eurosceptic faction is growing very much stronger as well and is only helped by the Tory apathetic position on the EU. As Mr. Cameron is ignoring the issue right now one day when he does find himself without options he will have painted himself into a corner. He does not want the UK to adopt the Euro (see their manifesto if you bother to take it for its word) yet QMV of Brussels tells him that we have to. Or we do not want to be part of Schengen yet QMV of Brussels tells him that we have to. If he has such respect for EU law than he will either go with what Brussel says and face annihilation back home or he will need to call a referendum on the UK's very untenable position in the EU. Unfortunately for Mr. Cameron he has now exercised all options but one, the one who's ultimate fate lies with Westminster and not Brussels, the one which is feared more than the plague and even Tony Blair, the one true question which will require the PM to have balls of Titanium to pose; Do we stay in the EU or do we rule own destiny and future? That is the question.
"'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few."

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

1 comment:

13th Spitfire said...

Bellum omnium contra omnes, a Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all"