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Democrat Editorial January-February 2008 (Number 106)

To be or not to be?

Parliament is sovereign under intergovernmental arrangements but will not be sovereign under the EU Constitution

The Treaty of Lisbon is the boundary between a Euro-federalist super-state and Britain continuing to participate in intergovernmental arrangements with 26 other Member States. This can be likened to buoyancy - you either float or you do not. There are no half-way conditions between having the sovereign right to self-determination and not having that right. That right would be lost if Britain ratified the Lisbon Treaty and the other 26 EU Member States managed to do the same.

The Government has deliberately failed to tell the peoples of Britain the true nature of the objectives of this Treaty and in particular the loss of sovereignty to turn the EU into a super-state. In fact the Government has gone out of its way not only to hide these objectives but to try and persuade everybody they do not exist.

Top of the list is pretending the new EU Treaty is different from the EU Constitution and only consists of "reforms". Ministers are stating it is not necessary to put this Treaty to a Referendum and have the nerve to cite Mrs Thatcher who did not have a referendum over the Maastricht Treaty of European Union. The Iron Lady headed a dictatorial Government which shut down coal mines, put the poll tax and anti-trade union legislation on the statute book which hamstrings trade unions to this day. Why should we take any notice of what the lady did with that Treaty?

The EU domino plan is crystal clear and would not fool a six year old. Let Britain ratify first and then hold a referendum in Ireland on the Treaty. It could be that the battle for "Europe" may well be fought on Irish soil. We hope the Irish electorate is afforded a fair referendum. That is why it is necessary to make as much noise here in Britain whatever happens in Parliament.

In the attempt to steamroller the Treaty through the House of Commons the Government has extracted a decision from them enabling it to truncate debate on the Treaty to 12 days from 20 and abandoned the promise to discuss the treaty line by line. So, there will not be a full debate by MPs and if the Government gets its way there will be no referendum for voters where the electorate could discuss this Treaty. This is the antithesis of direct democracy.

Parliament consists of two chambers and the House of Lords has to consider the bill for the Treaty after the Commons which will give us valuable time.

Fortunately there are still other obstacles in the path to ratification by all 27 EU Member States. There could be a wholesale reaction in Britain to force the government to carry out the promise to hold a referendum – it only takes one match to set a dry prairie alight! A mass turn-out for the lobby of Parliament on 27 February is crucial and essential to help in all spheres, ourselves and the future of Britain with the right to self determination.