Thursday, August 16, 2007

Observer leader on the Referendum (I)....

Observer Editorial:
Any agreement on co-operation between governments - membership of Nato or the World Trade Organisation, for example - requires some compromise on national autonomy. The new EU treaty is no different,

This is a completely false statement.

The differences between the treaties for WTO, NATO etc. and the treaties and institutions of the EU are not differences of degree but differences in kind.

Within an exponentially growing number of areas the EU institutions are a superior policy and law making body to the UK (German, French etc.) government and legislature. According to the German Ministry of Justice 80% of all German law originates in Europe.

In (again an exponentially growing number of areas) the EU court is a superior judicial body to the British (German, French etc.) courts. The definition of whether an area is within its competence is exclusively a matter for the European court to decide.

For members of the Euro the European Bank has supreme authority over interest rates and the Ecofin and commission have superior authority over elected finance ministers over spending and borrowing levels.

There is simply no comparison between these sweeping and expanding powers and the intergovernmental arrangements or treaties such as NATO or the WTO.
Our laws are not made by the IMF or NATO.

We do have free trade and arbitration obligations imposed by the WTO but these are not currently highly controversial and could be repudiated (without even an Act of Parliament) by any government so minded. Any judgement of the WTO arbiters is binding in honour on the government but it is not enforceable against the government or individual companies (or citizens) under British law. British courts do not have to accommodate regulations or judgements of the WTO into British law – it is entirely an intergovernmental matter.

Kyoto obliges us to deliver targets for greenhouse gas reductions. This has economic and regulatory implications but these are entirely for us to construct and deliver. No international agency other than the EU presumes to pass whole bodies of law direct, unchanged and undebated into British law. No other international agency can promulgate law that binds the British government, the British courts and British citizens.

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