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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Friday, January 14, 2005

Baffled By Eurosceptics

Poor Richard Corbett, Labour MEP is baffled by why what he calls moderate Eurosceptics should be against the constitution. Let’s look at the areas of puzzlement and explain in simple English those things that he finds confusing.
Of course, it’s easy to see why those on the extreme right are opposed to the new constitution. There’s much in it to displease them – respect for human rights, respect for minorities, principles of non-discrimination.
Personally I find the whole concept of defining minorities and their rights a very illiberal idea. The rights enshrined in the constitution are “positive rights” i.e. rights given by the state at the expense of someone else. What’s wrong with equality under the law?
On the grand scheme of things, the new constitution doesn’t change much.
Lets for now accept this statement as the truth. As Eurosceptics think the EU has already gone too far, why should they support it going even one more inch (sorry cm) further forward? To hark back to my student days, No Means No.
They complain about apparent lack of democracy. So the constitution now gives the directly elected European Parliament control over all aspects of the EU budget.
I can only speak for myself, but the problem is not democracy, but accountability. I don’t have any confidence that the Strasbourg Cesspit can improve that situation.
An ‘emergency brake’ is introduced, enabling national governments to block majority decisions in certain sensitive areas if they consider it to be of national importance.
First outright lie in the piece. The emergency break allows a period of bargaining, it does not stop the process.
They complain about inefficiency. So the constitution introduces several new measures to streamline and improve decision-making.
We complain about waste, a different thing entirely. The biggest difference between the horrors of Nazi Germany and those of other dictatorships was the Teutonic efficiency that was brought the business of genocide. Efficiency is only good if you want the outcome. We want a gridlocked EU unable to make decisions, it will slow down the rate of the slide into Serfdom.
They complain about complexity and jargon. So the constitution replaces a dozen overlapping treaties with a single clear document.
The man is obviously a legal genius. The only thing clear about the document is that it goes clearly over the heads of the vast majority of us.
It’s easy to forget, too, that the constitution is no more than a vehicle, setting out the principles and procedures for adopting policies.
Perhaps we don’t like those principles and procedures. So far each treaty we have signed has been a vehicle for further integration. Why should this document be any different?
If it fails to be adopted, we can look forward to several years of bitter wrangling on the future structure of the enlarged EU.
Yes, that’s exactly what we want. The EU seems to work like a bicycle, it needs to continuously go forward. Perhaps we can all now fall off.

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