22, November, 2016
“We would very much wish that the United Kingdom were present at our discussions. We cannot conceive Europe without it. We know, and this reassures us in our efforts, that the British Government wants the success of our work.”
Schuman knew Britain was essential for preserving European democracy.
Today non-British MEPs are in turmoil about democracy. About time! Let’s have some REAL democracy in Strasbourg and Brussels! Some MEPs want to take over British MEPs jobs on the committees. They want to redistribute key posts on the assumption that UK will leave the European Parliament. MEP Guy Verhofstadt said complex Brexit discussions should be wrapped up in 15 months. He wants the UK MEPs out of Parliament. “It would be nonsense for UK to be voting for new MEPs in 2019”– the date of the next European elections. Doesn’t that reveal a bullying attitude, the very opposite to the spirit of democracy?
Wouldn’t Democracy be better served if he urged British MEPs to stay as long as possible to help implement real European democracy?
Many MEPs are confused about the nature of European Communities and European democracy. Does democracy mean shutting the mouths of those you disagree with? Wouldn’t Europe benefit from those who point out democratic mistakes? The United Kingdom clearly has a much longer democratic tradition than some Member States that only began to implement a democratic system and the Rule of Law in this generation.
Flaws are flagrant. The Brussels Politburo has NEVER yet implemented the requirements of the treaties for proper European elections!
Then they think British MEPs should leave as soon as the legally dubious Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is activated.
This process as well as the Lisbon Treaty itself is illegal!
Europeans need a European Election. That’s common sense. It’s also what the treaties require! The Brussels Politburo has NEVER yet implemented the requirements of the treaties for proper European elections! Europe’s 28 national elections each exclude ‘critics’ they call populists! What democrats!
Some Brexiteers are also confused or ignorant.
In a BBC interview UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested the two-year Brexit process should be over before May 2019 so UK need not elect MEPs in the European Parliament elections that month.
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty replaced Article 240 of the European Economic Community Treaty. This Article said that the Treaty was ‘concluded for an unlimited period.’ Lawyers called this the ‘permanency clause‘ or the ‘perpetuity clause‘. They understood it to mean membership was permanent. It guaranteed that States would only seek democratic solutions in good faith.
Some politicians thought they could do better than the Founding Fathers. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to be more democratic than them and provide for an option for democrats to be undemocratic. In other words LEAVE Europe’s democratic institutions, rather than make them more democratic. The way they phrased the Exit Article 50, showed they lacked basic notions of both logic and democracy.
Here’s what Lord Kerr, the Secretary of the body, the Convention, that came up with this nonsense, said:
“I thought the circumstances in which it would be used, if ever, would be when there was a coup in a Member State and the EU suspended that country’s membership. … I thought that at that point the dictator in question might be so cross that he’d say ‘right, I’m off’ and it would be good to have a procedure under which he could leave.” He said he never envisioned that a British government might resort to it.
That shows that something is morally off-track. In Brussels and Strasbourg. The UK should never have been forced into a position that people thought that the only way to deal with Brussels chicanery would be to vote to Leave.
But it is worse than that. Article 50 is also illegal by national and international law. These crazy revisers of the European Economic treaty did not directly change the Treaty of Rome. They presented their EXIT clause first in what they called the “Constitution”– in reality a treaty called the Constitutional Treaty. It was written by the “Convention”of which as mentioned Lord Kerr was the Secretary and Valery Giscard d’Estaing was chairman. What is now Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was word for word Article 59 of the Constitutional Treaty.
What many MEPs and many of the Politburo refuse to acknowledge — YET — is that Article 50 is illegal. Why? Because the whole of the Constitutional Treaty was put to the vote in France and elsewhere. The people voted it down. It is null and void. In the French Constitution Article 3:
“National sovereignty is vested in the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives and by means of a Referendum. No section of the people, nor any individual may arrogate to itself or himself the exercise thereof.”
Hence Article 50 Also Known As Article 59 is dead. It is illegal to use it! But French politicians forced the exact same treaty through their Parliament by dubious means. By their own Constitution, French politicians cannot overturn the French Referendum NON.
The French political class know the Lisbon Treaty article 50 is a fraud. This is what the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said when I asked him about it.
Was it a good idea not to take the first referendum NON seriously? Should governments purposefully prevent the French people from having its voice as sovereign power?
“It was a mistake,” he told me.
Most lawyers are hard-pressed to find the equivalent example of an Exit Clause in any Union of States. The first Constitution of the Soviet Union in 1919 is one notable exception. But whether it had theoretical or practical value is a matter of doubt.
It is common sense that a democratic organization should improve itself by becoming more democratic, not by rejecting criticism and causing the messenger to leave. That is why all three Communities (ECSC, EEC, Euratom) have articles to revise and improve the their treaties. The concept introduced with Maastricht to make a single bag treaty with targets and goals in a wide variety of sectors and domains (external affairs, Justice, Home Affairs etc) shows that politicians had already lost the plot about democratic legitimacy, accountability and popular support of such measures by referendums. They were more interested in establishing personal power.
However, the second Treaty of Rome, the Euratom Treaty was not affected by their fiddlings. Euratom has exactly the same wording in its Article 208. It also has the same institutions. It is not affected by Lisbon’s Article 50. Membership of the European Atomic Energy Community is permanent.
Under the Euratom Treaty UK has a legal obligation to hold elections for the European Parliament in 2019. Come what may!David Heilbron Price