As David Cameron and the rest of the Tory tribe head into Manchester to begin their most upbeat conference in many years, I aim to outline the starting point at which David Cameron will assume if he enters No.10 as is expected.
It appears that at the time of writing, the enforced 2nd Irish Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty has been won by the Yes team. The cash bribes from Brussels to Ireland’s unemployed, the changes to the electoral law to ensure that unequal air time was given to the Yes campaign are small beer compared to the fact that Ireland was forced to undertake this vote for a 2nd time having originally voted No, that the people and their wishes were ignored, that democracy was ignored, that EU bullies have won the day.
I am not hearing any criticism of this coming from Cameron, I am not hearing him berating the powers in Brussels for this coercion of an entire nation. But I am seeing him shrug his shoulders and accepting the result.
I have explained on more than one occasion that Cameron does not want to lead Britain, Cameron wants power. You have to understand that Cameron is a committed Communitarian and fully understands that the EU is the best vehicle to achieve that goal. The hopes, desires, wishes and best interests of the British people are not foremost in Cameron’s agenda, as you will see throughout conference, he and the leadership in the Conservative party are going to be talking at you, not with you.
They will be telling you how you should lead your lives, how you should shape your communities, how and where your children should be educated, how young adults will be trained and how pensioners will be treated and cared for. Not once will he suggest that you should decide all of this free from government interference. He will throw a few morsels, but it will still be under state supervision.
He will suggest that moving power to the Regions will bring politics closer to the people. Yes it will, but for the wrong reasons. Cameron is not suggesting that you make more decisions, only that the EU regionalisation plan can be finished without you complaining. That the break up of the UK in favour of Regions reporting to Brussels can be undertaken without you kicking back.
Part of this is the call for few MP’s at Westminster, they will be called upon to report more locally, at Regional Grand Committee’s under the supervision of Regional Ministers rather than spending all their time in Westminster, in an attempt to give the RGC’s credibility. This is essential in the breakdown of England into the 9 euro regions.
By 2015, the end of Cameron’s first term, will come his final act. The closure of Westminster entirely. If he has not fully established and had accepted regional governments by then, it will be on the grounds of an already established fall back excuse, building works to remove asbestos, a five year undertaking!.
So where will Cameron begin, and I mean totally irrespective of what may be said at conference next week, but his legal base upon stepping into No.10.
We must therefore look to the Lisbon Treaty itself, which by the time Cameron is elected will have been ratified by the Czech, Polish and German governments. (Few realise that Germany has not yet ratified, with various constitutional arguments still rumbling on in the background).
I have chosen the EU’s own documentation to show the legal base from which Cameron will begin. The ‘Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’, as published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
In particular I refer to the section marked ‘Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’, page 47. (for clarification, Section 3, clause 16 of the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 notes the following change of terminology:
16.The Treaty of Lisbon amends other provisions of the TEU and the Treaty establishing the European Community, which it renames as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
This section marks out how the EU will function with regards to National Parliaments.
CATEGORIES AND AREAS OF UNION COMPETENCE
1. When the Treaties confer on the Union exclusive competence in a specific area, only the Union may legislate and adopt legally binding acts, the Member States being able to do so themselves only if so empowered by the Union or for the implementation of Union acts.
2. When the Treaties confer on the Union a competence shared with the Member States in a specific area, the Union and the Member States may legislate and adopt legally binding acts in that area.
The Member States shall exercise their competence to the extent that the Union has not exercised its competence. The Member States shall again exercise their competence to the extent that the Union has decided to cease exercising its competence.
3. The Member States shall coordinate their economic and employment policies within arrangements as determined by this Treaty, which the Union shall have competence to provide.
4. The Union shall have competence, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty on European Union, to define and implement a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy.
5. In certain areas and under the conditions laid down in the Treaties, the Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States, without thereby superseding their competence in these areas.
Legally binding acts of the Union adopted on the basis of the provisions of the Treaties relating to these areas shall not entail harmonisation of Member States’ laws or regulations.
6. The scope of and arrangements for exercising the Union’s competences shall be determined by the provisions of the Treaties relating to each area.
1. The Union shall have exclusive competence in the following areas:
(a) customs union;
(b) the establishing of the competition rules necessary for the functioning of the internal market;
(c) monetary policy for the Member States whose currency is the euro;
(d) the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy;
(e) common commercial policy.
2. The Union shall also have exclusive competence for the conclusion of an international agreement when its conclusion is provided for in a legislative act of the Union or is necessary to enable the Union to exercise its internal competence, or in so far as its conclusion may affect common rules or alter their scope.
1. The Union shall share competence with the Member States where the Treaties confer on it a competence which does not relate to the areas referred to in Articles 3 and 6.
2. Shared competence between the Union and the Member States applies in the following principal areas:
(a) internal market;
(b) social policy, for the aspects defined in this Treaty;
(c) economic, social and territorial cohesion;
(d) agriculture and fisheries, excluding the conservation of marine biological resources;
(f) consumer protection;
(h) trans-European networks;
(j) area of freedom, security and justice;
(k) common safety concerns in public health matters, for the aspects defined in this Treaty.
3. In the areas of research, technological development and space, the Union shall have competence to carry out activities, in particular to define and implement programmes; however, the exercise of that competence shall not result in Member States being prevented from exercising theirs.
4. In the areas of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, the Union shall have competence to carry out activities and conduct a common policy; however, the exercise of that
competence shall not result in Member States being prevented from exercising theirs.
1. The Member States shall coordinate their economic policies within the Union. To this end, the Council shall adopt measures, in particular broad guidelines for these policies.
Specific provisions shall apply to those Member States whose currency is the euro.
2. The Union shall take measures to ensure coordination of the employment policies of the Member States, in particular by defining guidelines for these policies.
3. The Union may take initiatives to ensure coordination of Member States’ social policies.
The Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the
actions of the Member States. The areas of such action shall, at European level, be:
(a) protection and improvement of human health;
(e) education, vocational training, youth and sport;
(f) civil protection;
(g) administrative cooperation.
Reading this, it becomes very very clear exactly what Cameron can and cannot do. There is not a single area of competence that will remain exclusively with Westminster. Not one.
Cameron will be acting under orders from Brussels. This is what Cameron and his pro-EU supporters call ‘progressive’. At least Mandelson was honest about it, referring to it as the post democratic era.
Even those areas which are marked as being a shared competency will only provide Cameron with a few crumbs, maybe a maximum of 12–15% of localised working policy, those areas which Brussels decides it does not want to deal with, and as you can see above it depends on whether the EU has not yet exercised or has decided to cease to exercise it right of first call on the competency.
Article 4.2 clearly shows that there is not a single shared competency that the EU has not already claimed or at the least coordinating policy for. There is nothing shared about these areas, they are merely EU mandated policies which National governments are having to localise.
Cameron’s trick over the next week will not be to bring you lots of new policies which few believe anyway, for those have already been decided elsewhere as being in the interests of the EU, not the British people, no, the real trick will be for him and his top table team to convince people that Westminster still has any power at all.
Unfortunately, Blair and Brown between them have already made sure that Cameron, and Britain, will be as toothless as an octogenarian lion.
No matter which party you support, if you are happy with this legal base from which Cameron begins, then say nothing and go with the flow, but I have to wonder whether your children will thank you for it in years to come.
If you, like myself feel that you have been sold out, that the rugs of Liberty and Nationhood have been pulled from under you without even so much as a hint of common decency in asking your permission, then at a mimimum there is one thing that must be decided at the Conservative Conference this week.
A cast iron legally binding referendum on EU membership, not just on Lisbon because it has gone beyond that now, and irrespective of whether the Lisbon Treaty is in force or not. And if we say NO, then we must be prepared to enforce and live with that NO decision. There must never be a 2nd Ireland scenario.