Fag packet found, the EU renegotiation planning begins…

Arch Europlastic, William Hague is reported this morning as having defined the first element of the UK’s renegotiation wishlist – and as expected this ‘concrete’ proposal is a mish mash of tough talk and hollow content.

The former self professed Eurosceptic, who as Foreign Secretary is now Brussels’ cheerleader-in-chief for all things blue with gold stars, will declare in a speech that national parliaments, such as the House of Commons, should be able to overrule legislation proposed by the European Commission if enough legislatures call for it to be thrown out.  This is almost certainly a kneejerk reaction to the European Commission’s prosecution of the UK for applying rules that force EU migrants to pass a ‘right to residency’ test that doesn’t apply to UK citizens, before they can claim various benefits, which is illegal under the EU law the politicians signed us up to because it discriminates against other EU citizens on the basis of nationality.

While this is good pink meat for the Euroweenies who want a ‘reformed’ EU, in reality nothing would change.  The rejection of legislation by the UK would need a number of national parliaments to support the British stance.  So if insufficient parliaments back what Britain wants, then this country would be forced to adopt the legislation regardless.  The sum of the power repatriated to the UK therefore amounts to nil.

So much for reform.

Move over, Cast Iron Dave, because there’s a new Eurosheriff in town!  Concrete Willy is his name, and he has found an old fag packet and angrily scrawled the first empty repatriation of power demand on the back.  Brussels can breathe easy as Britain’s place under the EU jackboot is safe in Hague’s carefully manicured hands.

This plan first surfaced in 2002 courtesy of Gisela Stuart during the constitutional Convention. It has thus already been chewed over many times and completely rejected.  It’s a non starter.  As such this announcement represents mere game playing on the part of Concrete Willy, who is giving little titbits to the lumpen media to distract them from the fact there is no renegotiation plan, much less any exit plan. The Europlastics, carefully steered by the Foreign Office’s europhile quislings, will do all they can to ensure it never gets that far.

20 Responses to “Fag packet found, the EU renegotiation planning begins…”


  1. 1 graham wood 31/05/2013 at 9:31 am

    “So much for reform.” Of course, and not likely to inspire confidence in any future negotiation via Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is it?

    As Cameron, Labour and the Coalition all wish to retain membership of the EU, then they are not likely to enter negotiations to leave an organisation the membership of which they have repeatedly affirmed they wish to retain . Logical really.

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 31/05/2013 at 10:22 am

    Ah, and straight into the brick wall runs Mr Wood, who is trying to be too clever by half.

    This faux renegotiation isn’t being done within a legally recognised framework. The only thing that comes close to this is abrogating the treaties then trying to get the other member states to negotiate agreements with you, again outside a recognised framework.

    It’s interesting to see you don’t have any faith in your own replica of the same approach.

    Thanks for underlining the paucity of your own argument. While you’re here are you going to reveal your master plan for preserving trade with the EU single market after you’ve torn up the treaty with no agreement in place? You’ve been very quiet on that score.

  3. 3 Martin Adamson (@grassmarket32) 31/05/2013 at 11:10 am

    “…if enough legislatures call for it to be thrown out”. Replace “enough” with “any” and he might have something. Liberum veto or nothing! Nie pozwalam!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberum_veto

  4. 4 Richard North 31/05/2013 at 11:27 am

    I see Mr Wood has returned from his huff. Before he runs away again – as he always does. Nevertheless, Mr Wood, please take this opportunity – between huffs, so to speak – of offering your best guess as to what would happen to UK exports to the EU the day after invoking your preferred option – unilateral withdrawal?

  5. 5 katabasis1 31/05/2013 at 11:36 am

    “if enough legislatures call for it to be thrown out.”

    – This reminds me of the clause in the treaties should citizens wish to put something before the commission, requiring one million signatures including “nationals of a significant number of Member States”. IIRC nowhere is the “significant number” required specified.

  6. 6 Peter S 31/05/2013 at 5:50 pm

    This is good news. If a reluctant government makes gestures to which the EU must respond either with a flat rejection or in breach of its own treaty… imagine what a staunchly pro-British government could do?

    Faced with a set of real demands, the EU would simply capitulate or face its own instant death. It is here we can begin to draw precise parallels between the perceived power underpinning the EU and that of the USSR politburo – and we might call this The King’s New Clothes syndrome.

    Of course, any such recognition will be lost on those most vulnerable to swallowing the large mountains of euroFUD – they will carry on issuing panicked calls for Article 50 whilst readying their noses to sniff the king’s ‘finely embroidered’ backside – as decreed.

    The rest of us would do well to urge the governments of Europe to draw up an independent contingency plan in readiness for an event which is as certain as the sun rising.

  7. 7 Richard North 31/05/2013 at 8:20 pm

    AM – I don’t know what your site has done to attract the moronic tendency, but if we could find out what it is we could bottle it and sell it … a bait used to clear an area so that the grown-up can do their business without interruption.

    You have done exceptionally well in identifying members of this caste, and we now know to ignore them, even in the unlikely event that they could come up with something which approximates a rational argument.

  8. 8 graham wood 31/05/2013 at 9:56 pm

    “While you’re here are you going to reveal your master plan for preserving trade with the EU single market after you’ve torn up the treaty with no agreement in place? ”

    1. The UK would have no need to “preserve” trade with the EU, for the boot would be on the other foot. Assuming the status quo in terms of trade UK/EU trade in five or six years (a very big assumption indeed), then of course it would not be in the interests of the EU to conduct any sort of trade war with us, or to engage policies which would harm them more than us.

    We know that collectively the EU exports far more food and manufactured product s to the UK than the reverse, and the UK is a net importer of both.
    The relevant question is why should they wish to inflict damage on their own interests?

    2. You state: “after you’ve torn up the treaty with no agreement in place? ”

    But I have never suggested that absurd proposition, and it must be obvious that a UK government will have entered into firm trading negotiations both with the EU, and provisional bilateral trading agreements with other free trading nations globally, long before any specified exit date. As you well know, that option is not ours whilst we remain in membership of the EU. When we leave we will have that liberty. IMO such negotiations should, and would, be in process just as soon as the political decision to leave has been taken via an OUT referendum vote.

    3. As mentioned before, the EU is signatory to the WTO and discrimination against a fellow member would be illegal under WTO trade law. Any competent British government would continue discussions with the EU on aspects of the Single Market, and more important EU law would no longer be binding on the UK. Instead only those agreements explicitly made with the EU would be, as any treaty obligation, incorporated into UK law.

    Those are just some well known and general principles – there is little point in going beyond these at present and engaging in detailed or hypothetical speculation as to what the position may be in 5/6 years time. Why bother?

  9. 9 Richard North 31/05/2013 at 10:36 pm

    Mr Wood – you ask “why bother”? Why indeed do you bother, at such great length, to parade your ignorance, and contrast it with your perverse inability to answer simple questions.

    Would you, just for once, allow it to percolate into your dismal little brain that the UK, on abrogating EU treaties would voluntarily assume the status of a “third country” in relation to the EU, and for the EU then to apply rules of entry to UK products would be entirely in conformity with WTO rules. To treat the UK as a “third country” is not discrimination.

    And, as it has already been explained to you at some length, EU single market rules would continue to apply to any products for which entry to the single was sought.

    Therefore, Mr Wood, would you please climb out of your pretend world, where you can make up a fictional la-la world to order, and apply your limited faculties to answering the questions actually put to you, instead of reinventing them to accord with your own fantasies.

  10. 10 Autonomous Mind 31/05/2013 at 11:08 pm

    I think it’s my turn to tell you now, Richard. There is no point debating this with him any longer. He will not modify his argument in light of the facts.

    The fatal flaws in his arguments are clear for all to see. Despite having been explained in detail, the reality does not fit with what he would like it to be, so he offers up nothing more than has already been debunked as unfeasible or unworkable.

    I think of his last submission as how to lose a referendum in three easy steps. If he tries to push his little Rodneyisms on a europhile audience that has any idea of how trade works in the contexts of the treaties and within the framework set out by the WTO, he will make eurosceptics look ridiculous and his argument would be slaughtered in short order.

    There are plenty of open minded people out there who will welcome evidence being presented to help them make an informed choice. There’s no point trying to help someone who won’t be helped.

  11. 11 Richard North 01/06/2013 at 12:06 am

    AM – you are right, of course. There is some utility, though, in watching the wriggling, to see what new evasions they come up with. The ironic thing here is that Mr Wood is now moving to a position where he has the UK negotiating with the EU before before we leave.

    Thus, he asserts that, “we will have entered into firm trading negotiations both with the EU, and provisional bilateral trading agreements with other free trading nations globally, long before any specified exit date”.

    How Mr Wood thinks this can be done without invoking Article 50 he does note specify, but – that aside – he has effectively adopted our position.

    However, in an illustration of what I think you recognised as cognitive dissonance, Mr Wood – having suggested that we have “entered into firm trading negotiations” with the EU … “long before any specified exit date” – i.e., while we are still in membership of the EU, then goes on to say that, “that option is not ours whilst we remain in membership of the EU”.

    Yes indeed, you are right. There is no point in debating with this man. His own position is incoherent, even in his own terms, his own words contradicting himself. And yet, to the end of time, with man will remain firmly convinced that his own jibberish is the unvarnished truth.

  12. 12 graham wood 01/06/2013 at 9:52 am

    ” Mr Wood is now moving to a position where he has the UK negotiating with the EU before before we leave.”

    Response. Indeed so. There is nothing politically or logically that need be ruled out once the all important decision to leave has been made – that is the all important issue, not the mere mechanics of our exit.
    Who or what is to stop the UK talking to ALL potential trading partners, including the EU, once that landmark change has taken place?

    “How Mr Wood thinks this can be done without invoking Article 50 he does note specify, but – that aside – he has effectively adopted our position.”

    Response. Our difference here is that you appear to view the UK as being “bound” by Article 50, and therefore under some sort of obligation to go through that route. Others do not, and believe that the repeal of the 1972 ECA is a far better option, for constitutional, political, and economic reasons. Both are valid options and would be open to a British government with a mandate to leave.
    You have not yet faced the democratic deficit in invoking Article 50 – namely why should a democratically elected British parliament negotiate on its terms of exit with a foreign organisation which has no democratic legitimacy whatsoever? To whom or what is the EU bureaucracy accountable, and to what electorate?
    There is a view that Article 50 does not bind us in international law.
    “Under the Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties, no provision of an international treaty can override a fundamental constitutional principle of national law” I believe that is correct.

    “However, in an illustration of what I think you recognised as cognitive dissonance, Mr Wood – having suggested that we have “entered into firm trading negotiations” with the EU … “long before any specified exit date”

    Response. Again, indeed so. If the UK had decided to leave after an OUT vote in a referendum, then not only would a future government have a clear mandate to enter into all sorts of new negotiations, but the British people, and indeed the EU itself, would need to recognise the new political reality, and would expect such negotiations to logically follow as a matter of course.

  13. 13 Autonomous Mind 01/06/2013 at 11:54 am

    What other laws, signed by this and previous UK governments, do you also feel we are not bound by?

  14. 14 Peter S 01/06/2013 at 1:20 pm

    Graham – Richard N and AM appear not to have the slightest notion of what “negotiation” actually is. Were their ability to think not so compromised with euroFUD, they might recognise Article 50 as barely fitting any commonly held definition of the word. The Lisbon treaty’s exit mechanism is, instead, a period of ritualised humiliation – in which a democratically elected government must agree to perform any number of circus tricks at the crack of the EU whip. The idea of this public exhibition being to reinforce the perception of the EU’s ‘power’ (at the point of its most serious challenge) while wasting a huge amount of time in the hope that the country gets a new Europhile administration and cancels the process.

    The more I have followed the debate on here, the more convinced I am that Mr Farage is absolutely right to put Article 50 at arm’s length. When asked to provide a rational argument for invoking Article 50, all its supporters can offer is their fear, uncertainty and doubt of not doing so. Whereas the UKIP boss shows a corresponding grasp of strategy, cause and effect and an unflinching trust in political precedent as his guide… qualities befitting every (potentially) great leader.

  15. 15 graham wood 01/06/2013 at 2:57 pm

    AM asked: “What other laws, signed by this and previous UK governments, do you also feel we are not bound by?”

    Your question raises a veritable pandora’s Box. Of course we are “bound” by international treaties, unless and until a UK government changes its position and withdraws from these. That is the prerogative of any sovereign state, but I suspect you are speaking or EU “law”?

    If the latter, then arguably EU law has, to quote an ancient authority of the claims of the Roman Church in England, “no jurisdiction in this realm”
    Agree or disagree?
    One of the fundamental issues at stake discussed and argued for many years is whether Britain’s membership of the EEC in 1972 in the first place was lawful at all under the British Constitution – the same debate and fundamental issue, by extension, follows every subsequent treaty entered into. No doubt constitutionalists will argue this for years to come, but with many others I believe that the EU is an illegitimate body in relation to its arrogant claims upon Britain and her peoples. At least three powerful arguments challenge these claims:

    1. The EU bureaucracy creates another legislature OVER that of the Queen in Parliament, with further claims that its “laws” / directives / regulations have supremacy over British law. I reject that claim.

    2. EU law purports to bind future Parliaments contrary to a fundamental principle of the English Constitution – ‘no Parliament can bind its successors’. In effect therefore we are under two mutually exclusive ‘constitutions’. That itself is a recipe for all the tensions and contradictions we at present experience and will never be resolved until we exit – unconditionally.

    3.Worst of all, the EU’s hegemony is in fact an alternative government to that of freely elected national governments having legitimacy through normal democratic process.
    But the EU corporately as we well know, including all its servants / officials are completely non elelcted and unelectable. Quite literally, it is a law unto itself like its Soviet predecessor.
    Why on earth should we obey their laws? Perhaps you would care to answer that fundamental question?
    .

  16. 16 Richard North 01/06/2013 at 3:17 pm

    Mr Wood, you are an idiot. You have wasted our time arguing against Article 50, and you now suggest that, following a referendum, “a future government have a clear mandate to enter into all sorts of new negotiations” … with the EU.

    In order to initiate those negotiations, the EU (of which the UK is part) has defined a procedure … under Article 50. And, having invoked Article 50, we “would expect such negotiations to logically follow as a matter of course”.

    Without invoking Article 50, there is no mechanism for the EU to conduct negotiations with the departing country. That is the reality. Now go away and stop wasting our time.

  17. 17 Autonomous Mind 01/06/2013 at 5:58 pm

    So basically Graham we are bound by laws and treaties unless you determine otherwise because it fits with your fantasist vision. Thanks for clearing that up.

  18. 18 graham wood 01/06/2013 at 6:57 pm

    Dr N wrote: “Without invoking Article 50, there is no mechanism for the EU to conduct negotiations with the departing country.”

    Really? It is Article 50 itself which baffles all logic and is patently contradictory, because it states quite clearly that :

    “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”.

    How then do you read that? Taken at its face value it clearly means that a national government has a right UNDER THE TREATY, according to the words of plain English, to invoke its own constitution. Of course we always have that right anyway and did not need the EU to “grant” it.
    It would find particular expression therefore in a “constitutional” Act of Parliament repealing the ECA 1972.

    In effect then Article 50 appears to respect member states their right to invoke their national constitutions does it not?

    In fact such action would mean something much more significant, namely an assertion of sovereign will, and the right to national self-determination.
    That right is enshrined as one of the first principles of international law and has many precedents.
    International law is based on the interaction of sovereign nations many of which derive their legal personality precisely from unilateral declarations of independence.

    What then Dr N would be your objection to that process?

  19. 19 graham wood 01/06/2013 at 7:44 pm

    Peter S. “The Lisbon treaty’s exit mechanism is, instead, a period of ritualised humiliation – in which a democratically elected government must agree to perform any number of circus tricks at the crack of the EU whip”

    Peter. I could not agree more! The EU wishes to retain the UK within its maw for a number of reasons – what is there to stop it in an Article 50 scenario of protracted procrastination – to which the UK would dance to their tune.
    To quote the old saw – He who pays the piper (the UK) calls the tune!

  20. 20 Richard North 01/06/2013 at 8:33 pm

    Go away Mr Wood. You are wasting out time and yours.


Comments are currently closed.



Enter your email address below

The Harrogate Agenda Explained

Email AM

Bloggers for an Independent UK

AM on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

STOR Scandal

Autonomous Mind Archive