Remember when Theresa May announced Britain's 'opt-in' to the EIO? Remember her reasons for so doing? For once Conservative Home has a decent post on the subject, with a telling comment by John Redwood.
As it turns out, Better Off Out has an 'admission' by Baroness Neville-Jones:
"The European Investigation Order is not an agreement between national Governments but a draft directive of the European Union. Consequently, as and when agreed, the United Kingdom will be unable to withdraw from the directive.",
The 'acceptance' of the EIO, nor the decision to opt-in' were part of either the Conservative or LibDem Manifestos and the people were subsequently never given the option of voting on this contentious issue. The statement subsequently issued by Lord Stoddart is worthy of repetition:
"Replies to written questions from Parliamentarians are supposed to be supplied within ten working days, this response has taken closer to ten weeks and when I do eventually receive it, the Government confirms that the door has been opened for foreign police forces to be given access to confidential information about British citizens, in perpetuity. Police forces in this country will be compelled to provide details of people's personal affairs, including bank accounts without their knowledge or consent. Furthermore, our officers will have to carry out investigations and surveillance at the behest of other EU countries. The Government has over-ridden Parliament so that there has been no discussion in either House on a directive with very serious implications for the British people. So much for Parliamentary sovereignty! "This is without doubt a major transfer of sovereignty. What happened to the pre-election promises that any major transfer of sovereignty would be subject to a referendum of the British people? I am disappointed to find that this new Government is as slippery and dishonest about matters EU as the last one. No Government of whatever colour should be signing us up to this iniquitous directive."
As a result it is, firstly, obvious that the Coalition Government have no concern about Parliamentary Procedures nor 'timescales' and, secondly, have no concern about passing yet another power to Brussels. 'Our' police have just become 'Their' police!
The comment, during the debate by John Redwood, is most pertinent:
"Many of us were elected on a programme of no more powers whatever passing to the European Union. Given that the Home Secretary promised us that no sovereignty would be transferred by the EIO, will she reassure us of that by putting into the draft proposal a simple clause that says that Britain can withdraw from the arrangement at any time if it proves to be not as advertised? If we have that clause, we are sovereign; if we do not have it, we are not sovereign."
So much for political manifestos! Is it not about time that, when a matter arises that was not covered in a governing party's manifesto, it should be put to a referendum of the people for their assent? Or are we, indeed, living in a 'democratised dictatorship'?