Friday, 13 July 2007

EU admits UK’s so-called treaty red lines are worthless

On Wednesday Margot Wallström, the European Commission Vice-President, insisted that the European Charter of Fundamental Rights will apply to three quarters or more of British law because it is derived from EU legislation and Britain's "red line" opt-outs are worthless.

She said: "Citizens will be able to claim before the courts the rights enshrined in the Charter," "The Charter will be binding for the European institutions, and also for member states when they implement EU law, even if it does not apply to all of them."

The commission's legal service describe British opt-outs as "limited" as German studies indicate up top to 80%of national law now originates in Brussels.

Sensitive national legislation, such as Britain's opt-out on a Brussels directive that sets the length of the working week will, officials predict, be challenged in the EU courts because it implements European laws.

A legal source described the opt-out as “potentially very thin."

If Gordon Brown is foolish enough to ratify the EU Constitutional Treaty signed up to by Tony Blair he will soon discover the charter, including a "right to strike", will be enforceable in the European courts if trade unions seek to challenge the UK’s reforms of the 1980s.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a senior European Parliament source revealed that Euro-MPs are planning to sponsor early challenges to Britain's opt-outs.

"We are going to make sure that this issue is constantly before the European Court of Justice,"

"There is 30 years of EU jurisprudence to say there can be no two-tier system of European rights."

The think-tank Open Europe has research that indicates EU judges are not likely to be backward in applying the charter. Their Director Neil O'Brien said:

"The Court of Justice will decide for itself whether member states are implementing European law and interpret their national laws for them,"

"Trying to stop the charter changing our laws will be like trying to carry water in a sieve."

If Gordon Brown is getting a bit fed up by now, with always playing second fiddle to someone, or something else, then he would be wise to agree to a referendum on the constitutional 'Treaty' sooner rather than later. He did say he would if the red lines were threatened.