Thursday, 11 December 2008

Quite Mr Redwood

I think we all rather knew this first part.

The outrageous decision to make the Irish vote again shows the EU is thoroughly anti democratic.

It's the second part which is a little more complex.

It also appears that there are changes to the Treaty, over the number of Commissioners. This means it should be put again to the people and Parliaments of the EU everywhere.

Complex even if equally true.

For the assurances that the Irish are seeking need, of course, to be legally watertight. A few well meaning expressions of intent won't cover it. But if they are to be legally watertight then they need to be part of the legal document. Meaning that the treaty approved (if it is of course) by the Irish will be different in a legal sense from the one approved by everyone else.

So, therefore, everybody should have to ratify the treaty once again.

Now of course neither I nor anyone else is sufficiently naive to believe that this is what will actually happen. Which means that not only are we a tad short on that democracy thing within the EU, we're also alarmingly short on the rule of law.


Gawain Towler said...

Barosso is saying that they are legally binding, but that is as you say bunk. They cannot be. Interestingly the Lisbon Treaty itself allows wriggle room on the number of Commissioners - if the Council are unanimous they can alter the number of Commissioners, so on that one the promise to Ireland is real. However on the other promises they are words. A challenge at the ECJ could well over turn them.

And then we have the infamous ratchet clause in the Treaty.

Vindico said...

Tim, how can you be soooo cynical? I am sure the nice people in Brussels will bow to the will of little old Ireland and keep their promises!

And, on Gawain's point, if the Lisbon treaty is self amending, then no doubt the situation can be changed in due course. Once the 'damn thing' has been ratified, the leaders can then get on with the job of changing it all to what they wanted in the first place.

All it will take is a few sops along the way - council meetings, new policy competences, EU expansion, etc, as well as a change of government in Ireland perhaps, and the people will still be shafted as before.