Referendum on Europe
I have posted before about the European Questions. It is sad that the public debate never really gets into any of the details of this issue. There will be a debate on Monday which has a motion proposing a referendum which has as one of it's options a renegotiation.
I would like to make my underlying view clear.
I do not support an "ever closer union". I do see that there is a role for a pan-european organisation dealing with trade and co-operation, but I do not want to see the centralisation of political power into a supranational body.
There has been a tendency for people to either believe that they should be part of the EU and accept everything or not. In fact now it is becoming much clearer that there will be different structures in europe particularly around the Eurozone. That could quite readily result in the non-Euro EU membership being more like the EEA.
Since the introduction of qualified majority voting there has been an ability for decisions to be made without all of the states agreeing to them (aka a Federal Structure). It was Margaret Thatcher that introduced the Single European Act that made the then EEC a federal body. She was the key proponent of a Federal Europe even thought she didn't know this.
The problems with Euro zone sovereign debt and its knock on to banking capitalisation are an issue that the Eurozone countries need to deal with. Once they have dealt with that there will be a need for a renegotiation for the non-Eurozone countries.
It is only when that finishes that it is worth having any form of referendum. Hence I will vote against Monday's motion.
The issue of how to handle Human Rights and the Council of Europe is, of course, a completely separate issue. I am of the view that certain resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should be binding on the European Court of Human Rights. That moves the structure from Kritarchy to a rule of law democracy. That is the change that is needed to deal with some of the absurdities that arise.