Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There, there! Now run along and play

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is being as kind as it could be to the poor paeons who have written in to suggest that if the Cleggeron Coalition (otherwise known as HMG) really wants ideas for legislation how about doing something about Britain's membership of the EU. We could come out or, at the very least, have a referendum on the subject.

Tut, tut, says the FCO, this is not really sensible but, of course, they can understand how we feel about the subject.
We understand that so many of you feel jaded and sceptical about the EU. Speaking about the EU in Parliament, the Foreign Secretary said he knows there is “a profound disconnection between the British people and what has been done in their name by British Governments”. We want to deal with this.

That is why we have said we will not agree to any further transfer of sovereignty or powers from the UK to the EU during this Parliament. We are committed to ensuring that the British people have their say on any future proposed transfers of powers to the EU. So we are introducing a law to ensure that any future EU Treaty that transfers competences or areas of power from the UK to the EU will be subject to a referendum. This 'referendum lock’ will ensure no Government will be able to pass more powers to the EU without your consent. This is part of our commitment to be more accountable to you for what we do in the EU.
Just recently I had a curious discussion with a lady on a forum. She said that she was proud of being a Labour supporter but she was castigating me for criticizing William Hague. The point is that there is no real difference between a Conservative or a Labour supporter; the real difference is between those who think politicians must be listened to and those who prefer some real information and knowledge. The gist of this lady's attack on me was that I appeared to think that I knew more than the Foreign Secretary did about foreign policy and about the EU. Mr Hague, she opined, had greater resources and had given more thought to the subject than I ever could. If you can call the FCO resources then the first of those statements is undoubtedly true. But as to giving thought to anything he (or the PM) pronounces on foreign policy, there really is no evidence for it.

That second paragraph says it all. Despite the evidence for power continually seeping away (of not already handed over) under previous treaties and agreements, we are still given that bilge about not agreeing to any future transfer of sovereignty and having a referendum if there is a treaty and if there is a major surrender of power in it.

Then we get some more rather condescending stuff about how useful the Single Market is to Britain though very little about the fact that most of our firms do not trade with it and yet have to obey the rules. Nothing much about the CFP or the CAP or the destruction of accountable democracy but we are told in general and rather pompous fashion that, of course, the EU has to change. We all see it and we shall continue to talk about it.

And meanwhile, could we all kindly stop disturbing the adults and run along and play.


  1. "we are still given that bilge about not agreeing to any future transfer of sovereignty and having a referendum if there is a treaty and if there is a major surrender of power in it"

    The whole point of the Lisbon Treaty is that there is a self amendment clause so that it can be changed in the future without having to have another treaty, hence we will never have a referendum

  2. I've come across this form of appeal to authority from time to time, I usually agree with them that it sounds like a great idea and ask politely when they're going to start using their greater resources and laser-like insight to produce better policy?

  3. Or any policy, at all, AKM. I shall try that next time. Maybe. ;-)

  4. Silly me, and I thought that they had just given away another tranche of power, or doesn't the EIO count. This lot will let the EU do just as they like. As to Hague, if he knows what is going on in the EU he conceals it very well.