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To think that the whole ethos behind the Lisbon treaty is disingenuous?

(18 Posts)
RainRainGoAway Sun 11-Oct-09 14:16:56

Just that.

Please discuss.

RainRainGoAway Mon 12-Oct-09 13:43:29

for you babybarrister!!! grin

babybarrister Mon 12-Oct-09 13:56:45

thanks first to OP ....smile

and no, YANBU! why we cannot have a referendum to decide how "deep" we would like to go with the EU. I certainly have never had a viote on the issue and never will given that the 3 main parties all support it as well so where exactly is the democratic process ,,,,,,

BTW this is a fabulous excuse for serious ranting - yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

RainRainGoAway Mon 12-Oct-09 13:58:27

Oh dear...I hadn't thought much beyond that title.
<<slopes off to google 'Lisbon Treaty' but gets distracted by Xfactor gossip instead>>

grin

babybarrister Mon 12-Oct-09 14:33:15

I've killed it - stone dead! bollocks wink

Callisto Mon 12-Oct-09 15:05:43

YANBU. The whole ethos behind the Lisbon Treaty is indeed wholly disingenuous. But then I find the EU to be a typical self-serving political machine there for the sole purpose to keep itself in existance.

ChunkyKitKat Mon 12-Oct-09 15:26:41

The Irish have signed up for it following a referendum haven't they?

What exactly would be the advantages for us?

Apologies, haven't read the papers lately, so don't know very much! blush

I know there are noises that the cost of energy would increase. Aren't we being offered some concessions, so that we don't have everything?

Callisto Mon 12-Oct-09 16:08:13

The Lisbon Treaty will mean the end to any pretence that member states are autonomous. It is incredible that this is being rammed through despite many countries actually not wanting it. The Irish only said 'yes' to stay on the EU gravy train that they've been on for the last few years - EU money was the driver behind the Celtic Tiger that left them in the economic mess they're in now.

RainRainGoAway Mon 12-Oct-09 16:54:49

It's alive, babybarrister, it's alive!!

<shakes fist in sky in triumph, in a Dr Frankenstein stylee>

edam Mon 12-Oct-09 16:57:41

What Callisto said. The pretence that we are 'citizens' of Europe makes me sick. Yeah, right, that's why on the very rare occasions they bother to ask for our opinion, they ignore us if we give the 'wrong' answer. They just make people vote again until we fall into line!

TheCrackFox Mon 12-Oct-09 17:02:07

I heard a scary rumour that Tony Blair is going to be president of EU. I thought we had got rid of that arsehole. Please, someone, tell me that this can't be true.

edam Mon 12-Oct-09 17:11:20

It's not a rumour, it's a very strong possibility. Obviously someone thinks we need a war criminal in charge of Europe now we've lost the one who used to run the US...

HeBewitcheditude Mon 12-Oct-09 17:13:37

I think that if the UK votes tory next time, we should make them do the election again, until they come back with the right answer. grin

edam Mon 12-Oct-09 19:59:02

nice one, HB!

jkklpu Mon 12-Oct-09 20:07:16

Um, you haven't actually explained what you think "the ethos of the Lisbon treaty" is. Do you mean the ethos of how it's been agreed and ratified, or are you actually talking about the ethos of the treaty itself. It's a massively complex document with lots of different elements.

Callisto - It does not, in fact, mean and end to "any pretence that member states are autonomous". In what respect do you think a state's autonomy (which I'd contest anyway) has been harmed? In fact, the treaty makes it easier for big countries to block new measures.

Can people get specific about what they're concerned about in the treaty itself or is this debate solely about the manner of its introduction. I don't have a problem if it's the latter. But, if the former, at least cite specific issues you have with the treaty rather than generalisations about an end to autonomy and energy prices going up (due to the UK's own failure to plan for the long-term and invest in infrastructure in an effective way.)

Callisto Mon 12-Oct-09 20:46:01

I have a very big problem about the introduction of this treaty as it has been done in a very undemocratic way. The EU Constitution was killed by France and the Netherlands. The Lisbon Treaty should have been killed by the Irish and would be killed by the UK if only we had the chance to vote on it.

jkklpu - to me the Lisbon Treaty means that effective democracy within the EU is finished. With this treaty the EU becomes a self-perpetuating bureaucracy swallowing more and more money and power from member states. The treaty was deliberately written in the most complex way possible so that no one can truly understand it and the implications of ratification. Once the treaty is in place we can't vote it away, but it can grab more and more powers for itself.

I don't pretend to understand the treaty, it is too vast and convoluted. But I do understand that less accountability in any bureaucracy is a bad thing, whether that is the local town council or the EU behemoth. I'd be interested in your justifications of it and why you think that a self-governing UK is not under threat by the treaty.

edam Mon 12-Oct-09 20:52:39

<applauds> Callisto.

The US constitution is short, straightforward and beautifully written. Why have the bureaucrats at the EU made 'ours' (ho ho ho like we ordinary 'citizens' have any say in the matter) so obscure that no-one has much of a clue what they are voting for anyway?

Why the hell should we trust an institution so corrupt that the auditors have refused to sign off the accounts for year on year on year, without anyone paying a blind bit of attention?

Why the hell should we trust an institution that took it into its own head to decide EU law had primacy over national law? No-one ever voted for that.

Why the hell should we be forced to an obey a body that pretends to be a democracy but actually makes it utterly clear it doesn't give a flying f*ck what the voters think?

Why the hell should we trust a body that forces us to accept EU doctors even if they don't speak English, while doctors from English-speaking countries have to sit a language exam?

jkklpu Thu 15-Oct-09 20:14:01

Sorry, have had network problems the past few days, hence no reply. Just in case Callisto and edam think I've run away:

- Yes, the US Constitution is a great document but there were lots of things going for it that the EU didn't have in recent years, mainly flowing from the fact that Americans were creating a totally new framework for a new country whose citizens had just won their freedom.

- The Lisbon treaty, in contrast, is an attempt to consolidate a whole series of treaties, each of which was amending an earlier one, from the treaties of Rome onwards. The principle of having everything in one place is a good one. However, as you say, the massive complexity of the subject matter means that it's very long and written for lawyers/insiders rather than citizens. I agree that this is a massive drawback.

- The other main difference between the EU and the US is that the EU has developed from 50 years of countries with lots of different legal, cultural and historical traditions agreeing to cooperate more closely together. As each of those countries - NOT JUST BRITAIN - has its own ways of doing things and its own priorities about what is important, one of the challenges has always been to agree the precise basis for this gradually closer cooperation, eg who can make a new proposal, how it is discussed, how national parliaments and the European Parliament have their say.

- Edam: You say that the Union itself took it into its head to give European law primacy over national law. This simply isn't true. Every single member govt agreed that this was the only sensible basis on which to operate in the areas on which the member countries cooperate. What would be the point of having a European competition policy if French, German, Italian - as well as British - companies weren't bound by rulings that they had broken the law? What would be the point of having common environmental rules if countries weren't obliged to put into national law the arrangements that would mean that the European agreements were enforced, albeit in line with each country's national legal and administrative traditions? What would be the point of saying that all countries had to meet the same food safety standards if there were no sanctions that could be brought against those that do not meet them?

- Callisto: You allege that the EU can "grab more and more powers for itself" once he treaty is in force. This is simply untrue. What is your basis for saying this?

- I certainly agree that the manner of treaty ratification and the pretence that it is somehow totally different from the "constitution" voted down by the Dutch and French has been undemocratic and cowardly by national leaders. But the point is that it's the national leaders who are truly accountable since they're the ones who take all the important decisions and agree last-ditch compromises in the middle of the night. My original point was that the MANNER of the treaty's adoption doesn't necessarily mean that the treaty itself, ie the EU as it has evolved, is a Bad Thing.

- It's not up to me ot prove a negative as to why the UK as a state is NOT under threat. What is it that makes you think that it is? And, at the same time, how would you propose that the UK could tackle issues such as the economic downturn, climate change, organised crime, international terrorism, human rights, all on its own? Do you want to be like Norway, which has full access to the single market but no say in any of the rules that are agreed?

- By virtue of being an EU citizen, you can live and work in any EU member country, you can get access to their healthcare system on the same basis as their citizens when you're there, you have stronger rights as an air passenger, a mobile phone customer, better consumer protection, assurances that toys you buy from other countries meet common safety standards, that the food you eat is as safe from any member country. It's the British govt that has chosen to opt out of possibly the biggest direct impact policies of a single currency and single passport area, meaning that we still need to change money and show our passports to enter and leave the UK. But once you're across the Channel, you're away.

So, not all bad news, I'd say, and, at the same time, I don't see the UK disappearing any time soon.

[Sorry for length.]

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