Monday, 23 July 2007

UK MPs demand EU Constitutional treaty be rewritten

The Commons' European scrutiny committee, a cross-party group of UK MPs has raised serious concerns over a section in the proposed wording of the EU Constitutional Treaty that states: "National parliaments shall contribute actively to the good functioning of the Union."

The word "shall" means they don’t get a choice. The word actively means they have to be pro active and "good functioning of the Union " appears to put the interests of the EU before the interests and independence of parliament. There are serious concerns they are the weasel words that could allow European judges to block future opposition to Brussels, or it’s dictates, by UK MPs.

The Chairman of the committee, Labour’s Michael Connarty, warned that "no one should instruct Parliament what to do" and during a recent session of the committee warned: "This is a takeover of the rights of this Parliament."

The committee are calling for Gordon Brown to reopen negotiations on the new European Union treaty.

Meanwhile EU foreign ministers, including the UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband are getting ready to meet in Brussels today to launch the formal Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) will decide the precise treaty language.

William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, intends to make a major speech tomorrow, demanding a referendum on the new treaty, pointing out that it transfers considerable powers from Westminster to Brussels.

Labour promised a referendum in the manifesto they were elected on. It should not be necessary to have to force them to honour that pledge. All the wriggling in the world will not alter the fact that this so-called ‘treaty’ is a thinly disguised constitution - European politicians have boasted that it was just that.

If any Labour pledge, is ever to have any credibility again, they need to honour their promise and hold a referendum.