Thursday, 28 October 2010

Opposition Opportunity

Not only should Ed Miliband Lead the Opposition to any increase in our EU budgetary contribution, as only the Leader of the Opposition to the cuts can do, but he should also remember that John Smith had been one of the Labour rebels whose votes behind Roy Jenkins had passed Heath's European Communities Bill, yet he cheerfully deployed every trick in the book during Maastricht's passage through Parliament. That's called Opposition.

There is work to be done by a Leader of the Opposition acting ruthlessly as such. The backbench Conservative Right is disaffected, so these challenges to put up or shut up, on the issue about which it claims to care the most, might well yield considerable results. Meanwhile, what of the Lib Dems? They were EU enthusiasts when they saw no hope of office at Westminster. But those days are gone, and everything about the EU - a legislature which meets in secret, for heaven's sake - is contrary to everything for which they stand. That is sharply true of the CAP and the CFP, and the CFP hits several centres of Lib Dem support particularly hard.

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers subject us to the legislative will of Stalinists and Trotskyists, of neo-Fascists and neo-Nazis, of people who believe the Provisional Army Council to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland, of Eastern Europe’s kleptomaniac nomenklatura, of neoconservatives such as now run France and Germany, and before long both of the ruling Islamists in Turkey and of their opponents, variously extreme secular ultra-nationalists and viciously violent Marxist Kurdish separatists.

Who will propose the relevant amendments to restore the supremacy of British over EU law, to require that British Ministers adopt the show-stopping Empty Chair Policy in the Council of Ministers until such time as it meets in public and publishes an Official Report akin to Hansard, to restore the mysteriously discontinued annual votes on the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, to use those votes to demand the abolition of those Policies, and to disapply in the United Kingdom anything passed by the European Parliament unless the majority of MEPs voting for it has been drawn from among those certified as politically acceptable by at least one seat-taking member of the House of Commons? Who would dare vote against such amendments?

Ed Miliband, over to you.

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