2nd June 2010: Andrew Brons made this contribution to the debate following presentations by experts on citizenship law in a joint meeting of AFCO (Constitutional Affairs) and LIBE (Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs), held on Wednesday 2nd June 2010.
"When the concept of European Citizenship was introduced, it was said that it was additional to, and not a replacement for, member state citizenship.
"The implication of the Rottman judgement in the European Court of Justice (and other judgements) is that national citizenship law will increasingly have to defer to criteria laid down by the Court of Justice.
"It will no longer be the case that European Citizenship is dependent on the nationality laws of member states. Member state law will be dependent on European Union legal judgements. European Citizenship will gradually become paramount and member state citizenship subsidiary to it.
"All of this predicated on the assumption that limitless immigration will continue and is a self evident good. There is ample opinion poll evidence suggesting this is not the view of the most citizens of most member states."
Professor Jo Shaw replied that it was too early to judge or to conclude that European Citizenship was replacing national citizenship.
2nd June 2010: Contribution from Andrew Brons to a debate following presentations on the Development of a Transnational Party System, held in a joint meeting of AFCO and LIBE on Wednesday 2nd June 2010.
"There is a pervasive joke - based on a pervasive truth - that what starts as a right or an opportunity later becomes a duty.
"It has already been suggested this afternoon in AFCO that a merger of parties into European parties should be mandatory. Is this likely or is it possible that parties that refuse to merge and contest elections under a common name, might be excluded from standing in the European elections."
Andrew's Note: This suggestion was rejected by the authority on transnational parties who expressed the view that it would always be possible for any party to contest these elections.
2nd June 2010: Andrew Brons made this contribution to a debate in AFCO (Constitutional Affairs Committee) on the proposed Citizens' Initiative (petitions leading to referendums).
"I am pleased with this development. Direct democracy is an older and purer form of democracy.
"It is important that citizens' initiatives should really be capable of being initiated by citizens and small lobbying organisations and not become the sole property of the major political groupings. To achieve this, there must be sufficient time for individuals and small organisations to gather the required number of signatures from as many countries as possible.
"Furthermore, if there are artificial or partisan restrictions on the subject matter it would be retrograde step. It would change them from being true citizens' initiatives into citizens' initiatives with Nanny's permission. It has already been hinted that Eurosceptic proposals might be inadmissible on that ground alone.
"I should like to return to the question of admissibility. Is there anything outside of the EU's competence for all time? Would a request for the EU to acquire a power or for that matter give up a power be inadmissible, on the ground that it is beyond the competence of the EU."*
*Note from Andrew:
It would appear that a proposal to give up a current power might be, self-evidently within the EU's competence. However, it might be argued that the Commission, as the guardian of the treaties, could never seek to give up a treaty power.
A Portugese MEP Mr. Moreira, suggested that both proposals to acquire and proposals to give up powers would be beyond the competence of the Commission, because the acquisition (and release of powers) is a power of the member states.
Mr. Moreira seemed to imply that the criterion for competence meant the competence of the Commission. However, acquisition and release of powers is within the competence of the European Council, which represents heads of government and (in one case) a head of state.
ANDREW Brons MEP has made a contribution to the debate during a joint meeting of three committees of the European Parliament.
After the Commission of the European Parliament and Council issued a communication on Freedom, Security and Justice, the AFCO Committee (constitutional affairs), the LIBE Committee (home affairs, justice and human rights) and the JURI Committee (legal affairs ) met to discuss the new proposals.
Needless to say, Andrew spoke out against what was yet another in a long line of EU directives designed to undermine British independence and sovereignty.
Andrew told the delegates on the three committees:
"In the United Kingdom we have three distinct legal systems. In particular, in England and Wales our Law of Contract has developed over four centuries, incrementally, in a tried and tested way, case by case. People in Britain (and particularly in England & Wales) will be appalled to hear proposals for an eventual European codified Law of Contract.
"The idea that our adversarial system of criminal law might eventually be replaced by the continental system is quite horrifying.
"Moving onto the section on 'rights', the extension of rights is always to be welcomed, other things remaining equal. However, the creation of Orwellian thought crime (various phobias) does nothing to extend rights and can be used only as an instrument of repression and is an attack on democratic rights."
ANDREW Brons took the opportunity to question the European Commission vice-president Margot Wallstrom.
Andrew asked Mrs Wallstrom:
"When talking of the Lisbon Treaty you said that 'the process has been going on since the year 2000' (following the Nice Treaty and just before the discussions leading to the Constitutional Treaty).
"Does this mean that the Lisbon Treaty is essentially the same as the Constitutional Treaty which it replaced?
"The British Government denies this and on the basis of that denial reneged on its promise at the 2005 General Election to hold a referendum on the Treaty.
"Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that the Lisbon Treaty will eventually be ratified by all twenty-seven countries.
"The leader of the opposition in the United Kingdom has indicated that he, 'would not let matters rest' and that he would seek a renegotiation of the Treaty.
"Would such a renegotiation be allowed or is Mr. Cameron's suggestion just hot air?"
Margot Wallstrom (above) replied briefly:
"The most important things for Britain were changed, which were the names and the symbols".
Andrew saw this as a clear admission that the Lisbon Treaty and the Constitutional Treaty were one of the same.
"When she said that the most important things for Britain, she must be presumed to mean the most important things for the British Government. She has tacitly admitted what we all knew - that the substance of the Treaty remained the same.
"Only the names 'High Representative' instead of 'Foreign Minister' and the symbols have been changed."
Andrew Brons exposed the double standards of the pro-European Union MEPs during a debate on the Lisbon Treaty and other matters in the AFCO (Constitutional Affairs) Committee this afternoon.
German MEP Elmar Brok (above) objected to David Cameron, the Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom Parliament (for whom I hold no brief), calling on the Czech President to delay ratification of the Lisbon Treaty if it was against the wishes of the Czech Parliament.
"However, when the Irish people voted 'No' in their first referendum, enthusiasts for the Lisbon Treaty were lining up to tell the Irish Government to ignore the decision of the Irish People and encouraging the holding of a second referendum.
"I think that these two situations are exactly comparable".
During a debate of the Constitutional Committee of the European Parliament on the German Court's ruling on the Compatibility of the Lisbon Treaty with the Constitution of Germany, Andrew Brons made the following contribution:
"I would like to take a rose-tinted view of the German Constitutional Court's reservations but I cannot. The German Constitutional Court, despite its rhetoric about preserving national sovereignty, has been engaging in a damage limitation exercise, in support of the Political Class.
"The Constitutional Court is deluding itself into believing that the European Union is not rapidly becoming a federal union, when it clearly is. Why? Because, it says, that that development would require major constitutional changes and even a referendum - which is exactly what we ought to have had in all twenty-seven countries. The Political Class would not want that!
"The Constitutional Court pretends to be critical of national power being eroded but by saying that the German Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty were not incompatible, it is giving the green light to the Lisbon Treaty and therefore to federal union."
Last Thursday Andrew Brons MEP made this short speech in the AFCO (Constitutional Matters) Committee of the European Parliament.
"We have heard this afternoon that a ' vote in France and then the Netherlands (on the Constitutional Treaty) was not really a 'No' vote but a protest against the 'fact' that European integration was not going fast enough!
That sounds like something that George Orwell might have written.
It is important to trust the people and not to assume that they agree with the European project when they clearly say 'No'.
No must mean No. It does not mean 'Yes' or 'I'd like to vote on the matter again'.
The populations of all twenty-seven countries (instead of just one - Ireland) should have been trusted to have a say on the Lisbon Treaty.
Is the fact that they have not been allowed to say 'No' in a referendum going to be interpreted as a vote in favour of the Lisbon Treaty?