Open Europe's press summary for today leads on the news that both France and Germany are seeking changes to the Lisbon Treaty - aka The European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) - and links to articles in various newspapers. Note the phrase "changes to the Lisbon Treaty" - it is changes to the Lisbon Treaty and not, as the Telegraph, Mail and Express, write a "new treaty"; links within the OE press summary.
The Lisbon Treaty is a self-amending treaty and one only has to read Article 48 of the TFEU to understand this point - something which the press appear to have forgotten, ignored, or are just demonstrating how plain ignorant they really are. A further point which should be considered is found in Article 48.6 which states:
"That decision shall not enter into force until it is approved by the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements."
David Cameron continues to promise his "Referendum Lock Bill" yet there is no sign of this piece of legislation. At present the "constitutional requirements" that exist in the UK is purely a debate in Parliament to ratify any such changes. With the LibDems and Labour wedded to EU membership, coupled with the Tory MPs being whipped to support any Coalition sponsored debate, the so-called "Tory Right" would face an up-hill struggle to defeat it. So to avoid any referendum on the outcome of these "treaty changes', all Cameron has to do is delay the introduction of his Bill until after any changes have taken place. For Mats Persson of Open Europe to be quoted in their press release stating "....The net effect of a new EU treaty would then be fewer powers for Brussels and more for Westminster......" really does beggar belief. To even believe that the EU would agree to repatriate powers back to member states is stupidity itself - it would open a Pandora's Box whereby other states would require the same, something that would undermine the whole idea of the EU, which is total control of member states.
Total integration of member states into EU Governance is the prime aim of the EU and this is borne out by two recent announcements. One is the European Commission communication looking at proposals for an EU tax including: a share of a financial transaction or financial activities tax; the auctioning of EU green house gas emission allowances; an EU charge related to air transport; a separate EU VAT rate; an EU energy tax; and an EU corporate income tax. The second matter worth consideration in respect to the integration of member states is the announcement by David Cameron that closer ties are being planned, in regard to the use of the new aircraft carriers, with France. This I believe is just the precursor to what will eventually become an EU Navy. Richard North, EU Referendum summaries this quite admirably in his post:
"So, gradually, we move into the end game. The sell-out will soon be complete, happening under our very noses while the clever-dicks sleep on, leaving Mr Cameron and his euroweenies to succeed where Hitler and the Axis powers never could - the destruction of the Royal Navy as an independent force."
With the EU already having 'control' of member states' budgets, adding taxation and integration of member states' armed forces results in not just loss of power, but what can be termed a 'basic' loss of power. It should be remembered that he who controls a nation's finances including taxation and military might controls the nation.
To call, as does Open Europe and repeated by the three papers mentioned earlier, for a 'trade-off' of new powers in return for repatriation of some powers lost - even if that were possible - will still lead to the situation whereby "powers have been lost". Lord Lawson (Nigel) was heard on the wireless today stating that democracy demands that those levying taxation must, perforce, be answerable to the electorate. Lord Lawson needs reminding that for democracy to exist, any nation calling itself a democracy must also be a self-governing nation - something the UK is plainly not!
If David Cameron once more speaks about having the best interests of the UK as a priority - I think I shall have to shoot him!*
* Should any of the 'State' (Prime Minister Protection Service) visit this blog, I hasten to add I speak metaphorically - or at least that is what I shall tell them!