5 Feb 2016

Cameron's Parliamentary Sovereignty and Constitutional Court scam pt.1

I'll put my neck on the block and offer a couple of predictions in this short series of posts. The first prediction is that there will not be a referendum until 2017. It certainly won't be in June this year.

Why not? Because of the sham renegotiation and the content of the 'deal' that has come from it. Back in September, Philip Hammond was telling the Telegraph that:
Realistically the December European Council is going to represent the start of the serious and multi-lateral negotiations around the British package.
That meeting was on 17-18 December. The conclusions of the Council were published and showed exactly this much information regarding discussion about the British referendum and 'satisfactory solutions' to British demands.

That was it Christmas and New Year followed. Then apparently so did the commencement of David Cameron's much vaunted and long trailed reform extravaganza, the 'fundamental renegotiation of Britain's membership of the European Union'.

So fundamental and far reaching were the reforms, the discussion was concluded in less than one calendar month. Donald Tusk published a draft agreement for consideration by the member states, on 2 February.

It was quickly apparent that the EU had done what it has done before. It had seen to it, with Cameron's connivance, that none of his 'four baskets' contained anything that amounted to new opt-outs; none made any substantive change to the treaties as agreed; and all were crafted, with a mixture of high politics and low cunning. If some of the words seem familiar, that's because they were borrowed from Andrew Duff when describing the EU's previous deceptions to make voters think their countries had secured changes or concessions after they opposed treaties.

Borrowing in part from Duff again, this time as before, the terms of the draft agreement are mainly of a tautological or oxymoronic nature – affirming that the treaties mean in fact what they say – although some take the form of promised future additions to treaty texts. There is nothing of any substance that is new.

In-work benefits for migrants will continue to be paid, beginning at a reduced level and rising until after four years they match the level paid to British nationals. Big deal. That only impacts 1.4% of the total in-work benefits budget. It's meaningless. As for the supposed 'Red Card', that is nothing of the sort. It has been presented to make it look as if Britain can block EU laws taking effect. We can't. It only applies to the principle of subsidiarity, an principle whereby the EU does not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence), unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level. It does nothing to provide any block to EU laws. Directives cannot be rejected.

Blocking such EU subsidiarity action required 16 members of the European Council to oppose it. Cameron's big deal means it will need 16 national parliaments to oppose it, which actually increases the size of the hurdle that must be jumped. Huge reform, that. Not.

All this is a long winded way of making the point that the deal Cameron has agreed with the Council is empty. There's no way he can put it before the country and ask them to decide Britain's future on such a basis.

It's meaningless. Hardly anything has changed. Cameron has asked permission to ask permission to undertake actions that are already covered in the treaties. It's not even tinkering around the edges, it's an underlining of the status quo. What has been presented is so completely devoid of any substance, it doesn't come remotely close to what Cameron promised to achieve in his 2013 Bloomberg speech - which set out the scope of reform upon which voters were to decide whether to leave or remain.

The so called renegotiation has been so tainted by the farcial deal and the smoke and mirror presentation of it, particularly from the silk smooth accomplished liar, Philip Hammond, that only a complete moron would dare put it before voters.

Putting it to a vote at all, let alone in June, would mean a leave vote. So a period of time has to elapse now, to let the media blow off steam and voters to forget the terms of the deal and why it has been so ridiculed. That means no June referendum. But that also means there has to be something else. This 'deal' isn't the main event. It is merely a distraction, or a filler to kill time for something very different that removes the current deal from consciousness.

What could that very different thing be? In the follow up parts 2 and 3 we will examine the scam named in the title, which is Cameron's latest wheeze, and my second prediction will be revealed.

Part 2...