September 22, 2009
A leading Labour Party European Union insider and former member of the European Convention’s 13-strong presidium has finally confessed that the treaty breaches fundamental democratic principles and makes EU leaders unaccountable.
Ms Gisela Stuart, current Labour MP for Edgbaston and former health minister, sat on the committee which drew up the original EU Constitution, later repackaged as the Lisbon Treaty. After the draft constitution was published, she stated in public that it had been drawn up by a “self-selected group of the European political elite” but remained part of the process.
Now Ms Stuart has, in an inexplicable moment of honesty, stated clearly what the Lisbon Treaty is all about. Speaking to a daily newspaper, she said the treaty “breaches the fundamental democratic principle that voters can get rid of those in power.
“It allows the EU to launch future power grabs completely unchecked,” she continued, saying that the treaty leaves a “huge democratic deficit” and would make the EU’s leaders accountable to no one.
“There will be no more treaties, no more referendums anywhere on EU integration,” she explained, adding that the treaty contains a “ratchet clause” which allows for the scrapping of national vetoes without the need for summits or referendums.
In addition, voters will also have no power to choose or remove a new all powerful EU president, who will be selected by EU leaders.
Ms Stuart said: “My basic test of democracy is: can I get rid of them? By casting a vote, you can change the people who are in control of you. Lisbon does not give you, as a citizen, the means to control the executive or the politicians who decide on your behalf, and that’s the hurdle it falls on. The nature of democracy is really at stake.”
Her comments are acutely embarrassing for both Tories and her own Labour Party, both of whom have already formally endorsed the Lisbon Treaty.
The Labour Party has already arrogantly broken its promise to hold a referendum on the issue while the Tories have gone back on their promise to hold a referendum as well.
Originally, the Tories said they would hold a vote on the Lisbon Treaty. This position has now been amended to a vote only being held if the treaty is not yet in force by the time they hope to come to power — in other words, if everyone else has accepted it, the Tories will as well.
The Conservative Party’s vacillation over this issue has been described by shadow foreign secretary William Hague as the “ticking time bomb” under David Cameron.
* In related developments, the Czech Prime Minister, Jan Fischer, has warned other EU leaders that a legal challenge in his country, launched by Euro-sceptics, could impose a “long delay” on his country’s ratification which could last till the middle of next year.
* Irish opponents of the Lisbon Treaty have said a ‘yes’ vote in next month’s referendum will end Ireland’s military neutrality. A number of groups opposed to the treaty say the lack of any detailed debate concerning EU armaments and military strategy is alarming. They say Lisbon will allow bigger states to forge ahead and develop military hardware for sale to countries like Saudi Arabia.
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