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Democrat - Editorial September 2007 (Number 104)

"If it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, then it is a duck"

Turning the EU into a superstate


Government leaders in nearly all other EU Member States make clear that the Constitutional Treaty or "Reform" Treaty is identical to the EU Constitution rejected by French and Dutch electors in 2005. Government ministers from the Prime Minister downwards repeatedly state it is not the same and that the "Constitutional" bit has been taken out to imply we are just back to tidying up old treaties.

The truth is that the new treaty turns what is currently called the European Union into a super-state within which all of us in Britain will be EU citizens. Just because the word "constitution" has been rubbed out does not change the objective. Britain does not have a written constitution but does have legislation agreed by parliament and written in the statute book which is constitutional.

Turning EC into EU
Some years ago a largely unmarked propaganda victory occurred when the name was changed from European Community to European Union. Ever since then, inter-governmental arrangements have remained in place. There is a partial union where 12 member States have joined in an economic and monetary union - the euro single currency and European Central Bank. In all other important spheres there is no Union where there are only inter-governmental agreements. This arrangement is even labelled communitaire.

Part of the trick is to put in place a Union without any need to change the name to give the impression that nothing of any consequence is happening.

The only thing the government has is to keep saying the new treaty is not a constitution. This is unsustainable, needs sweeping aside and is easily done. Then we are back to all the arguments of two years ago against the EU Constitution which still suffice even though the actual text on paper is in an incomprehensible form.

Red lines
Another government mantra consists of the so called "red lines" which were "safeguards" agreed to over two years ago before the EU Constitution was published. The government then promised a referendum. Rather than being red lines they are deliberate red herrings and we showed this in the previous issue of the Democrat.

As RMT General Secretary, Bob Crow, says in the introduction to the TUAEUC pamphlet: "remember this, if it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, it is a duck". (see page 10 for review of this excellent pamphlet)

In the first place the campaign to have a referendum takes priority. Pressure on MPs needs to be exerted to vote in parliament for a referendum. This requires the electorate to exert their democratic demands by all means possible on their MP. Once that decision is won, which will not be easy, all the stops will need to be pulled out to win a "No!" vote. In this it is necessary to persuade everybody entitled to do so to register on the electoral role.

The Campaign against Euro-federalism will play a full part in these steps.