November 6, 2009
Following David Cameron’s speech on 4th November, here are some reactions…
1. Opting out of the Charter of Rights
Why opt out of a Charter of Rights that simply ensures that the EU has to repect fundamental rights and that any EU legislation that fails to do so, can be struck down by the courts? It is a safeguard, not a threat!
2. Giving UK law primacy over EU law
What is the point of agreeing common rules at EU level if each country is then free to break its agreements and overide them by new national laws? Britain won its court case against France when they continued to ban British beef after it was declared safe, precisely because countries must live up to what they have agreed to. If French law had primacy over EU law, they would still be banning our beef!
3. Opting out of the Social Chapter of the Treaty
Having common rules for the common market on some aspects of social legislation ensures a level playing field, a single set of rules for companies to follow instead of the costly confusion of 27 sets of rules in a single market, and gives all workers, including British workers, basic rights and protections. Why should British workers be denied the rights enjoyed by their counterparts across Europe? What is so wrong with this legislation, that is accepted by every other government, including conservative governments, in Europe? The only example Cameron gives is the Working Time Directive – legislation that was NOT adopted under the Social Chapter (it is health & safety legislation) and was approved by the Council of Ministers under the last Conservative government with Britain abstaining. Cameron apprears not to know this!
4. Opting out of co-operation on Criminal Justice
Is Cameron unaware that Britain already has, under Lisbon, the right to opt-in or opt-out of legislation in this field? Not that we should – crminal gangs operate across borders and we need to co-operate with our neighbouring countries in fighting them – but we can already choose which measures to sign up to.
What a pity Cameron places a higher priority on pandering to the eurosceptic extremists in his own party than to facing facts!Author : European Movement UK