2003 May 22 Thursday
John Major Demands British Referendum On EU Constitution

Former Conservative UK Prime Minister John Major calls for a referendum on the proposed European Union constitution.

At the heart of Giscard d’Estaing’s proposals is the intent to replace intergovernmental decision-making with a new written constitution for a single European entity. The institutions of this European entity would exercise sovereign powers, with primacy over the laws of member states in a breathtakingly wide range of policy areas. Even worse, the existing protection of a national veto largely disappears, as almost all the decisions would be under a system of majority voting. This is utterly unacceptable.

So is the treatment of the concept of ‘subsidiarity’ that was introduced in the Maastricht Treaty: it was a principle that was intended to ensure that the EU acted only where it could complement national actions. Giscard d’Estaing turns this on its head and redefines the distribution of power by stating baldly that member states may take action in defined areas ‘only if and to the extent that the Union has not exercised its [competences]’.

If Britain loses the right of a sovereign state to have a foreign policy and defense policy then the United States will most likely lose a very valuable ally. Among the losses to the British will be their legal system which will be gradually replaced with a legal system based on a very different European continental legal philosophy. Ironically, English common law will be dead in the country of its birth while its legacy lives on in other Anglosphere nation-states.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 May 22 03:46 PM  Europe and America


Comments
Bob said at May 22, 2003 6:51 PM:

It would seem incredibly stupid for the british to piss away a birth right their forefathers have spent what is it now? 800 or is it 1000 years fighting and dying to seize and to preserve for their descendants.

M. said at May 23, 2003 5:10 AM:

But,Bob,what good is freedom if the welfare checks are too small?

Paul N said at May 23, 2003 7:07 AM:

The scope of the proposed EU constitution is mind-boggling,
but the most incredible fact is the total lack of concern
and protest by any significant number of Europeans.
Hello, is anybody home?


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