Monday, 30 November 2009

Reflections on Lisbon

Lisbon enters into force tomorrow. Will it render the UK to the history books?

We already know quite plainly that the method of this treaty's passing was disgraceful; no referendum, even if it was exactly the same as the constitution they promised a referendum on. And if it's a constitution, since states have constitutions does this not now make the EU a sovereign state?

Brussels Journal has the statehood line

With the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on Tuesday 1 December, members of the European Parliament, who up to now have been “representatives of the peoples of the States brought together in the Community” (Art.189 TEC), become “representatives of the Union’s citizens” (Art.14 TEU).
I am a British citizen. I do not recognise myself as a citizen of the "Union". "European citizenship" is an alien concept to me, as I'm sure it is to many other "Europeans". Surely if I and others consider ourselves UK citizens, the country is the UK? The purpose of referendums is often to define nationality. Take Montenegro. They voted to become Montenegrons, rather than Yugoslavians or whatever it was that week. So if I do not consider myself one of the "Union's citizens", am I no longer represented by the European Parliament? Who are "the Union's citizens"? Who do the MEPs represent? Quite clearly they are becoming more and more detached, since they represent people that don't exist! I'm a subject of the British crown, not a citizen of the European Union!

I suppose I have to avoid being too cynical and Daily Mail-esque sometimes. Will this create an EU superstate? I'd say that a state cannot exist without the consent of its citizens, but then again, what about South Ossetia, or the Serbs in Kosovo? I have a distinct identity, a British identity, not some European identity.

But then again, do the political class listen? Versailles, 1919 - for all the talk of self-determination, the politicians set most of the borders (though yes there were plebiscites). Is this really the first time we've been invaded, since 1066, but without any armed force at all?

The Brussels Journal piece I linked to earlier notes the clause "The Union shall be founded on the present Treaty". Does this clause not create a new European Union, a new state?

I'm not a constitutional lawyer, not even a political scientist, but to me this is the foundation of a new state. A state needs citizens, and Lisbon provides for them, even when the citizens don't want to be citizens. Honestly, the transfer of powers is disgusting. But only time will tell.

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