‘G’. What does the proposed new Constitution have in store for us?
The worst feature of this
Constitution is that the EU will acquire its own legal personality, superior to
that of the Member States. There is no longer even the
pretence that the EU is an arrangement between sovereign nations. The EU, the Brussels system,
becomes Sovereign. The EU flag, which at the moment is flown as mere
advertising, becomes real. The EU
anthem becomes the anthem of the new MEGA-STATE. (Alas, poor
Minister [THE GREAT DECEIVER] claims that he
defended his ‘red lines’ at the Inter-Governmental Conference on 18th
June 2004 (21), which decided the Constitution’s final
shape. These include foreign policy,
social security and tax. But large chunks of these areas have in fact already
been ceded to the Treaties.
Instance- Mr Blair’s red –line on tax is clearly a red herring [Surely
If you look at
the tax provisions of the Treaties (Clause 93 of the Treaty Establishing the
European Communities) you see that we have indeed retained the veto for
indirect taxation. The Treaties are
silent on direct taxation as such, but if you look at the Single Market
provisions (Clauses 43 and 44) you will see that all direct tax is exposed to
the ‘anti-discrimination’ and ‘right of establishment’ provisions. In other words, the Commission could claim that our direct tax system
gives us an unfair advantage over the member states. When the Court agreed, we would have to fall in line.
It is a little
known fact that the Court has already moved into corporation tax, and has issued
some 90 judgements, usually against nation states keeping control of
Multi-National companies’ dividend policy.etc. (22)
M. Giscard D’Estaing, who drafted
the proposed Constitution, has done us all one great favour. The wording of
the document is really easy to understand; it is written in the usual
impenetrable verbiage of the Treaties.
Anyone who takes the trouble to read it can understand it. Even so, there is one attempt at Euro-deception. The Constitution introduces the concepts of
‘Exclusive Competences’ and Shared Competences’. ‘Competence’ itself is an old Euro-deceptive word. It does not mean being able to do something
well. It means ‘Power’, and it usually means power transferred to the EU, where of course it is always exercised incompetently,
Exclusive Competences are clear enough; the EU alone can act in those areas of
our national life, which are transferred to the EU’s Exclusive Competence. (Mostly
concerning competition, customs and the power to make international treaties).
The description lies in the ‘Shared Competences, where you could be forgiven for thinking that power might be
shared with Member States.
a Bit of it.
Member States can only act in areas covered by ‘Shared Competences’ when
Brussels can’t be bothered, and with
Brussels’ permission. These ‘Shared
Competences’ are pretty wide.
They include the
internal market, which covers all of our commerce and industry, the ‘area of
freedom, security and justice’- so
our legal system and judicial procedures will gradually pass to Brussels’
Our agriculture and fisheries (of course).
All European transport and
Our energy (bang goes our oil and
Economic, social and territorial
cohesion -which will mean almost anything when the Luxembourg ‘Court’ gets
Common safety concerns in public
Not much left, you might think. (23)
and above all this is not only the superior legal power of the new Union. There is also the fact that the EU’s
Charter of Fundamental Rights will be all embracing and justiciable in the
Luxembourg ‘Court’. (23) Even the Europhile Confederation of British Industry is
worried about what the new right to strike, etc. will do for our international
pretend that the Constitution returns power to national Parliaments because the
Commission has to reconsider a new law if one-third of national Parliaments
don’t like it. But the
Commission can go ahead anyway. So this is no big deal.
When we come to debate the
Constitution, we really mustn’t fall for one of the best tricks up the
Eurocrat’ s sleeve.
The trick is to proclaim that some
feature of the Constitution is ‘nothing new’ because it is already in the
Treaties, as though that makes it acceptable to the British people. It doesn’t.
If much of our Sovereignty has been taken away when we
weren’t looking, that should not stop us from demanding it back, now we have
discovered what has been going on.