Arthurian Legend

"Once back here I got to thinking - 'how do I get out of this?' Perhaps the really haunting spectre is that I would have to turn my back on the lake, and the prospect of the sword." Alan Clark, Diaries - 19th May 1999

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Cameron's fox: Shot!

Arthurian Legend has noted before David Cameron's assinine approach to EU-related matters, including his "committment" to reassert the supremacy of the British Parliament concerning the "social chapter" provisions (over which Blair surrendered control to Brussels when he came to power).

One of Legend's contacts even attended a swanky do in the City where DC was schmoozing the money and boasting that he would take back control of this area.

From the mouth of the President of the European Commission himself, we now have confirmation that Cameron can't do what he says he will do:

"The Commission assumes that when the Honourable Member refers to the Social Chapter in the Treaties, he is referring to the social provisions contained in the articles 136 to 145 of the EC Treaty. These provisions are part of the whole Treaty and cannot be isolated. All Member States are bound by the Treaties they have signed and ratified and which have entered into force, including the social provisions they contain. Consequently, a withdrawal from these provisions by a Member State would require an amendment of the EC Treaty in accordance with Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union."

There were two particularly silly things about making this committment:

1. It appeared to be in exchange for dropping the fishing policy - a fishing policy that was hailed by those who studied it as a good plan and one that was likely to command wide support in the areas of Britain most directly affected

2. I suspect that people will be more concerned about the Conservatives "taking away their rights" in this area (even if the EU should not have been involved in the first place) than the previous policy of repatriating the powers ceded under the "Common Fisheries Policy".

Anyway, it's another naive Cameron promise on the European Union which he looks likely to drop when he finds it too awkward to stand up for British democracy.


Newmania said...

I do not understad how the forst oart of this relates to the second . If its not negotiable why are you discusiing the negotiations ?

Arthurian Legend said...

The point is, he shouldn't say one thing without giving an indication as to how he will pull it off.

Indeed, he doesn't give any indication that he is aware of the obstacles involved. I think he thinks that he can just revert to the pre-1997 position and take back Major's opt-outs.

The truth is that the treaties would have to be re-negotiated, and to achieve that, Britain's membership would effectively have to be put on the line (as Powell reported Thatcher did over the rebate negotiations).

Thus, Cameron must show the same "testicular fortitude" displayed by Mrs T...which he has hitherto shown no sign of possessing (witness the EPP sham).

It is probably not unreasonable to postulate that Cameron is being either deceitful or ignorant on this issue (and quite possibly both).

Newmania said...

Oh do stop shilly shallying and say what you mean AL