Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rebranded European Constitution Battle Commences

The Parliamentary battles over the ratification of the "Lisbon Treaty", the rebranded European Constitution, have begun in earnest. The Lib Dems have said that they do not support a referendum and have sought to present all who question the treaty as being in favour of UK withdrawal from Europe - arguing any referendum should be on that basis. So much for Lib Dem honesty and simplicity. The Lib Dems voted with the New Labour Government for the Treaty Bill to proceed to a second reading.

The following 19 Labour MPs stood up for Democracy and Accountability in the face of Government capitulation to the centralising neo-liberal project for Europe:
Michael Clapham, Jeremy Corbyn, John Cummings, Ian Davidson, David Drew, Gwyneth Dunwoody, Frank Field, Roger Godsiff, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, Lindsay Hoyle, John McDonnell, David Marshall, Austin Mitchell, Dennis Skinner, Graham Stringer, David Taylor, Robert Wareing and Mike Wood.

The measures will now be debated line by line over the coming weeks. A bigger revolt is expected over an amendment on the subject of a referendum.

Meanwhile Trade Unions Against The European Constitution (TUAEUC) have inaugurated their new website that details the arguments against the Constitution/Lisbon Treaty. They set out their position clearly:

The renamed EU constitution will turn the EU into a highly undemocratic state and will fundamentally change the way we are governed and how laws are made.

The Treaty would establish an EU that has all the legal, constitutional, political and military features of a single state. It would put aside intergovernmental arrangements to create a new entity where member states are reduced to the status of regions or provinces.

Under the constitution, power is transferred from elected national governments to an un-elected European Commission in Brussels. It confirms the sole right of the Commission to initiate new laws and removes from member states the power to veto proposed legislation in more than 60 new policy areas.

As Sir Stephen Wall of the pro-Constitution group Britain in Europe recently confirmed: "The rules are not designed to allow a member state, which has been outvoted on a piece of legislation, to opt out from applying what would then be law"( Financial Times Jan 20 2005).

This should concern all European trade unionists, as it would deliver a fatal blow to any attempt to win progressive change in the law. You may be able to lobby an MP or parliament, but you don't stand much of a chance with the remote, unaccountable and unelected institutions in Brussels or MEPs who have no rights to table legislation.

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At 9:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Free Europe! Vote YES at!


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