It will be recalled, from the European Council Conclusions of 27th June, that David Cameron made great play on the statement about ‘ever closer union’. To refresh readers memories point 27 stated:
The UK raised some concerns related to the future development of the EU. These concerns will need to be addressed.
In this context, the European Council noted that the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of integration for different countries, allowing those that want to deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish of those who do not want to deepen any further.
That is not what the Commission website states when explaining what is EU law and/or ‘ever closer union’:
The main goal of the EU is the progressive integration of Member States’ economic and political systems and the establishment of a single market based on the free movement of goods, people, money and services.
To this end, its Member States cede part of their sovereignty under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which empowers the EU institutions to adopt laws.
These laws (regulations, directives and decisions) take precedence over national law and are binding on national authorities.
In his statement to the House of Commons Cameron said (Col: 600):
We broke new ground, with the Council conclusions stating explicitly that ever closer union must allow for different paths of integration for different countries and, crucially, respect the wishes of those such as Britain that do not want further integration. (Emphasis mine)
The Council Conclusions said no such thing – read point 27 again. It stated that the European Council noted that the concept of ever closer union, etc, etc.
It should be noted that the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘concept’ as: a general notion; an abstract idea.
Another example of David Cameron being economical with the actualité; or, even more serious, misleading the House?