EU Trampling our rights through committees, rapporteurs and gobbledygook
By Stuart Agnew MEP
•I made two speeches in the European Parliament last week, aimed at exposing another massive power grab by the EU and the infighting that is going on between its institutions over who should have that power.
The first was on a report disguised by the dullest of titles: ‘Constitutional report on the problems of a multi-tier governance in the EU’, which I described as “a classic example of a how a subject is hidden by committees and rapporteurs” (MEPs responsible for getting the report through Parliament). The real meaning is skilfully disguised in 28 pages of EU gobbledygook.
However, if you look closely enough you find that it is about enhancing the Union’s ‘competencies’, which means increasing the powers of the EU. The word ‘competency’ sounds so much nicer and less emotive than ‘power’, doesn’t it? Power has to come from somewhere and we all know where, from national governments. With each new power grab, national governments grow weaker.
Among many other things, the report calls for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) and for ‘deeper policy co-ordination in the fields of taxation and employment’. In other words, the EU wants much greater control over taxation and employment and to generate its own permanent source of revenue, through the FTT. The report’s only saving grace is that it confirms treaty revisions are required, which means David Cameron will have to hold a referendum, that he will lose!
In the second speech, about a report under another yawn inducing title of ‘Relations between the European Parliament and the institutions of national governments’, I pointed out that UK voters understand that successive governments have “handed over the democratic governance of our country to unelected, unaccountable, power hungry functionaries of the EU” and that the report by Alain Lamassoure represented “the first shots in the struggle between the European Council and the European Parliament” over who has that power.
The report lays down a formula for how the Council and the Parliament should work together. It demands that there be a debate in Parliament before every Council meeting at which the President of the European Council must attend to present the subjects on the agenda, in person. It also wants the President to come back to the Parliament in Plenary session after each Council meeting to give a report, rather like a naughty schoolboy!
The most interesting feature of the report was its castigation of the Council of Ministers for its lack of pace, strategy, consistency, coherency and strategy. I said: “We in UKIP have been pointing this out for years and it really isn’t surprising when you look at the reduction in living standards of so many people in Europe” to reach the conclusion that “it just isn’t working”.