29th July 2013: Andrew Brons has received a response to his Question to the European Commission Requiring a Written Answer (E-005719/2013) on Renegotiation of EU membership by the UK.
"Writing in the UK’s The Times newspaper on 7 May 2013, a previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lawson, stated:
‘The Prime Minister has embarked on a series of preliminary talks with our EU partners, hoping to be able to renegotiate improved terms for the UK within the Union, which he can then put to the people in a referendum in 2017.
‘I have no doubt that any changes that Mr Cameron (or Ed Miliband) is able to secure will be inconsequential. The theology of the acquis communautaire, the principle that any powers ceded by the member states to the EU are ceded irrevocably, is absolute. It is the rock on which the Union is built, and – through the so-called Passerelle Clause of the Lisbon Treaty – effectively an explicit part of the EU constitution. Moreover, to make exceptions for one member state would inevitably lead to similar demands from others and threaten a general unravelling.
‘The doctrine that “more Europe” must ipso facto be a good thing is sacrosanct. My friends among the eurocracy assure me, too, that a precondition for any renegotiation would be that we agree to give up the UK rebate secured with such difficulty by Margaret Thatcher some 30 years ago.’
Does the Commission agree with Lord Lawson’s view that substantial renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU would not be possible?
EN E-005719/2013 Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission (25.7.2013):
As laid down in Article 48 TEU, the government of any Member State may submit proposals for amending the Treaties in accordance with the ordinary revision procedure, or if the conditions are fulfilled in accordance with the simplified revision procedure. In the course of these procedures, the Commission is requested to give its opinion on the proposals for amendment; however, at this time, no such proposals have been submitted.