» Monday, October 15, 2007

EU Treaty

Asked why Michael Connarty was wrong when he had said that the red lines would disappear in 5 years, the PMS said that there were two separate issues and that the Foreign Office would be replying in detail to Mr Connarty’s letter. One issue was in relation to the UK opt-in on justice and home affairs issues; that was indefinite. The second issue was ECJ jurisdiction over JHA issues for which there was a transitional period of 5 years before coming into effect. In a sense, what was happening was that two things were being conflated, the opt-in and the transitional arrangements. Our opt-in would always remain so we would always retain the flexibility to opt-in where we believed it was in our national interest to do so.

Asked to clarify the position re Treaty negotiations, the PMS said it was the Government’s view that the negotiations that had taken place and the current text that was circulating secured our red lines. However, we were not at the end of the process yet; we needed to remain vigilant and cautious, as such we would not be making any definitive statement on this until the negotiations were concluded.

Asked if the Prime Minister was convinced that there was no need for a referendum in the sense that if the red lines were not as water-tight as he would want then he would not sign it, the PMS said that was correct. The Prime Minister had answered that point very clearly during the press conference with President Barroso last Thursday.

Asked if that meant there would be no referendum under any circumstances, the PMS said the Prime Minister had made clear that if the red lines were violated he would veto the Treaty; therefore any treaty he would sign-up to would be a treaty where our red lines were respected, therefore, as the Prime Minister had said, in those circumstances a referendum would not be needed.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. I’m not sure the PM can understand what the public want. We’re not interested in Brown saying the UK doesn’t need a referendum because the “red lines” are secured, we are demanding a referendum regardless of what he keeps repeating. We’re not interested in “red lines”, we want and demand a referendum from an unelected leader who has no right to deny us, his employers, that privelege!

    Comment by Michael Paddon — 15 Oct 2007 on 4:17 pm | Link
  2. I agree. The PM is the leader of the party elected to run this country by the people of this country. He should not be saying that he has secured a few areas where he can make decisions while the rest of government policy will be decided by Brussels institutions in which the people we elect have an inconsequential 9% share of the voting weight. If he goes ahead and signs this treaty we may replace him for doing it, but no new government will be able to change the then ratified treaty. This is why the 2005 referendum commitment to a referendum was so important.

    How much will a repeat promise to hold a referendum before joining the euro be worth in the next Labour manifesto? What indeed is the point of putting any program of government before the British people if the government once elected then proceeds to march its MPs through the lobby to vote against measures contained in their manifesto?

    Comment by John Hopkins — 15 Oct 2007 on 5:02 pm | Link

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