Referendum Bill in UK

clonycavanman

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There doesn't seem to be a thread on this already. Ireland 'stood alone' throughout the Lisbon Treaty controversies as the only Member State which subjected the treaty to the test of direct democracy, and endured opprobium for being out of step. It looks like Ireland won't be alone the next time.

We'll let you vote on NEXT EU treaty, vow ministers | Mail Online Daily Mail 12-11-10

A Referendum Bill was apparently published in the UK on 11-11-10. It includes a 'referendum lock'. There will be a referendum if:
* There is a new EU treaty which transfers powers to Brussels
* The Government wants to join the euro or abolish border controls
* The EU tries to create a common defence policy or a Europe wide public prosecutor
* Brussels tries to axe the British veto over the EU budget, social, environment and finance policy


Also there will be an Act of Parliament:
* If the EU tries to activate clauses in the existing treaties to take more power
* Attempts to increase the number of european commissioners


Comment:
A european national government has at last taken the plans of the European Commission seriously, with a pre-emptive legislative strike at the phantasies currently in development stage.
The 'borderless europe' will be a dead duck.

On the fringes of the G20 summit a couple of days ago David Cameron met with Merrkel, Sarkozy and Berlusconi to stiffen the resolve that the EU budget growth will be held at 2.9%, rejecting the 6% demanded by the EP.
The supra-national pretensions of the EU will now be getting a searching examination.
 


evercloserunion

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Why don't the Tories put their matcho "back off Brussels" money where their mouth is and hold a referendum to leave the EU? No reason why their backward hyper-nationalism should hold back the progress of the EU. And if they do choose to get out of the EU, we can take bets on how long before they're begging to get in again :)
 

rubensni

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This won't be binding as in the UK it is parliament who is soverign, not the people. The British Ray Crotty would be laughed out of court.
 

SilverSpurs

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This is great news for someone who opposed Lisbon as this will make the full implementation of Lisbon impossible as there is snowballs chance of the British people voting to give away more powers to the EU. Thus:
1- The common defence required by Lisbon at some point in the future will have to take place well into the future although the assistance and solidarity clauses are pretty much the same thing.
2- The E.P.P. will never be created on a union wide basis, It could be created by enhanced co-operation though without the UK and hopefully without us too.
3- The UK and by extension Ireland will keep the Schengen opt-out.
4- The UK is keeping the pound although that was always going to be the case.
5- Little if any radical stuff will happen on the EU budget or social policy.
6- The self amending clauses (48.6, 48.7 & 352) are unlikely ever to get used where the UK can't opt-out.
7- The british opt-out on Justice and home affairs looks safe and hopefully ours by extension.

Mods can this be put into the Europe forum where it will get more interest. Cheers.
 

SilverSpurs

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Why don't the Tories put their matcho "back off Brussels" money where their mouth is and hold a referendum to leave the EU? No reason why their backward hyper-nationalism should hold back the progress of the EU. And if they do choose to get out of the EU, we can take bets on how long before they're begging to get in again :)
It doesnt take much for the mask of a europhile to slip now does it!
What a horrible thought, giving european citizens a say in the running of the EU. I also find your comments about "holding back progress" disquieting given how concepts of "people holding back progress" was the rationale offered for the concentration camps.
 

SilverSpurs

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This won't be binding as in the UK it is parliament who is soverign, not the people. The British Ray Crotty would be laughed out of court.
Not so sure. While sovereignty lies with the monarch via parliament or council the powers of the monarch have been limited down the years by the "rule of law" (the UK's unwritten constitution). The monarch can legally concede sovereignty irreversibly e.g. when colonies became independent, rights granted to defendants in legal cases etc.
 

SilverSpurs

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Why don't the Tories put their matcho "back off Brussels" money where their mouth is and hold a referendum to leave the EU? No reason why their backward hyper-nationalism should hold back the progress of the EU. And if they do choose to get out of the EU, we can take bets on how long before they're begging to get in again :)
Diplomatic pressure from the Yanks will ensure the UK stays in the EU. Remember you cant just leave the EU anymore you have to negotiate for at least two years so the UK would have to offer (punishing) concessions to leave.
 

rubensni

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Not so sure. While sovereignty lies with the monarch via parliament or council the powers of the monarch have been limited down the years by the "rule of law" (the UK's unwritten constitution). The monarch can legally concede sovereignty irreversibly e.g. when colonies became independent, rights granted to defendants in legal cases etc.
I don't disagree with you, but you're gone a bit abstract in relation to my point. The key thing that I am saying is that this referendum bill won't be binding on this or any other parliament as parliament can just as easily remove the right to a referendum as it grants it - i.e. by passing an act. In Ireland, removing the right to a referendum would require a constitutional change, and since the constitution can only be changed by the people, a referendum would be required to remove the right requiring the state to hold a referendum on EU treaties.

In other words, a UK citizen could take an action against a future government for passing a new EU treaty directly into law by altering/removing this referendum act, but they would have little or no chance of success in forcing the government into having that referendum as the idea that parliament, as you put it, intended to cede sovereignty irreversibly by passing this particular bill won't be upheld by the courts. This will be made explicit in the wording of the bill by the insertion of a sovereignty clause.
 

evercloserunion

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It doesnt take much for the mask of a europhile to slip now does it!
What a horrible thought, giving european citizens a say in the running of the EU. I also find your comments about "holding back progress" disquieting given how concepts of "people holding back progress" was the rationale offered for the concentration camps.
The citizens already have a say in the running of the EU, there is not one member state which is not run as a democracy and the people have a direct say in how the EP is constituted. I think what you are talking about is giving Eurosceptics the chance to distort the debate and manipulate voters using scare tactics and falsehoods, as happened in the Irish referendum.

Diplomatic pressure from the Yanks will ensure the UK stays in the EU. Remember you cant just leave the EU anymore you have to negotiate for at least two years so the UK would have to offer (punishing) concessions to leave.
Disagree. A member state could still leave the EU by dismantling whatever national law it is that gives recognition to that country's membership of the EU and validity to EU laws. It's just that doing so would be a political and probably economic nightmare if both the country and the EU institutions weren't prepared for it. Lisbon simply provided a framework for states to come to an agreement on how withdrawal is to pan out.

But yes, there is probably pretty strong diplomatic pressure to stay in the EU.
 

Clanrickard

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Diplomatic pressure from the Yanks will ensure the UK stays in the EU. Remember you cant just leave the EU anymore you have to negotiate for at least two years so the UK would have to offer (punishing) concessions to leave.
Not true.
 

USER1234

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As hiding behind a poster pointed out on the other (now closed) thread on this same subject:

Err, Lisbon has already been ratified by all 27 member states, and is thus the EU's rulebook. States can't decide retrospectively which parts they'll now ratify.
 
Last edited:

Al.

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It doesnt take much for the mask of a europhile to slip now does it!
What a horrible thought, giving european citizens a say in the running of the EU. I also find your comments about "holding back progress" disquieting given how concepts of "people holding back progress" was the rationale offered for the concentration camps.
One could call this the New Unionism, only this time to Germany. Not even the Germans gave their own citizens a say in the running of the EU.
 


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