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|