This renegotiation ‘thingy’

Dominic Raab, writing a comment piece in today’s Sunday Telegraph, is once again writing about our ability to renegotiate our membership of the EU and thus repatriate powers and believes that Wm. Hague’s ‘EU Audit’ will provide a valuable cost/benefit analysis. This article has to be tempered with the realization that Raab is a politician who would not refuse a ministerial position were it to be offered, consequently his views can be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.

I am presently ‘in conversation’, on John Redwood’s blog, with Denis Cooper who believes that Article 48 (in his words) allows for “negotiating treaty changes to take powers back from the EU is expressly admitted in that article”. As I have queried, where in Article 48 do the words ‘take powers back’ expressly appear? Yes, we may well ask to change the rules, but why would the EU agree to this when the preamble of the TFEU ‘expressly’ states “determined to lay the foundations for an ever closer union”?

It is maintained by politicians that ‘Parliament is sovereign’ and there is also calls in the comments on Redwood’s post for repeal of the ECA 1972 as the panacea to all our ills. I have to question whether Parliament is sovereign, especially the fact that one comment from Sean O’Hare mentions he has it in writing from a government authority that Parliament is sovereign (at least over EU law). Contrast that statement with that contained in a letter dated 10th November 2010 from the European Commission to Stefano Manservisi, Director General, DG Home, on data retention states:

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And still our political class would have us believe they ‘govern’ us?


8 Responses

  1. You are wasting your time arguing with Dennis Cooper. He is always right on everything – in his opinion.

  2. Sue says:

    I noticed a post by Anne Palmer on Inquiring Minds this morning In the text is a link to a letter which states categorically that EU Law prevails over National Law, INCLUDING NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (PDF)

    There are some other bits and pieces you might find interesting there too David.

    • david says:

      I already had copies of the files, Sue – just waiting an opportunity to use them, which Raab provided.

  3. Sean O'Hare says:

    Hi Sue,

    Unfortunately your link doesn’t take me to a valid page on Inquiring Minds and I was unable to find the relevant post. I would be very interested in reading the letter and I;m sure WfW would as well. Any chance you could post a direct link to it?

  4. Denis Cooper is usually right about these very technical questions of what can and cannot be done.

    That said, he shares our pessimism that our pol’s won’t do what could be done and will allow what shouldn’t be done.

    • In this case, Cooper is not right – and in many other cases he is not – it is just that it is too tiresome arguing with him. In this case, he has argued his points to the nth degree in multiple fora and his points have been roundly demolished. That does not stop him, however, reiterating in still more fora exactly the same points that he thought of originally, supposedly in the expectation that, by dint of constant repetition, he will prove himself right after all.

      • david says:

        And as of a few minutes ago when I checked, he appears to have withdrawn from the discussion after I accused him of muddying the waters……..

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