• Roger Helmer MEP, UK Independence Party (UKIP, East Midlands), Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (EFDD) - @RogerHelmerMEP - Response: Jonathan Faull, Commission's Director-General on the "Task Force for Strategic Issues related to the UK Referendum"
• Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO)
• Item on Agenda: 12.0 (AFCO/8/04311) The renegotiation of the United Kingdom constitutional relationship with the European Union
Jonathan Faull gave a very defensive answer to my question. Indeed the deal has been done by the current 28 member-state governments. But the welfare benefit issues will require legislation, and the parliament may well amend the terms – and could indeed throw out the whole proposal. Constitutionally no one can guarantee in advance what amendments will be tablds and how MEPs will vote on the day.
The treaty changes that Cameron expects could be vetoed by any member-state government – and governments in some member-states may have changed, and no longer feel bound by their predecessors positions. Thirdly, there will almost certainly be challenges in the ECJ, which has no sympathy with British exceptionalism. The agreed terms may be rejected by the ECJ as discriminatory.
In short, we shall be voting for a list of EU promises. So the real question is, "Do you trust Brussels?". I don't.