Skip to main content

A referendum on the EU does need to happen, but not yet.

The issue as to the UK's relationship with the other countries in Europe is being discussed publicly again. It is worth displaying the following image again:

This is the current structure for the various European Bodies. It is now recognised that the Eurozone requires a banking union. I think it is also clear that the UK will not be part of this. It may be that the Eurozone moves further, but the situation is so volatile at the moment that it cannot be clear. What should, however, be clear is that the UK should not aim to be part of the core Eurozone countries.

If there were to be such a proposal then the law now is that the UK would have to hold a referendum.

My own view is that there will become a time when there is merit in having a referendum as to what the relationship should be between the UK and other European Countries. There will only be a limited range.

I don't think there is anyone suggesting that we should not be part of the Council of Europe. It is, however, the membership of the Council of Europe which leads to us being part of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Much of the criticism of the ECtHR is unfair. However, it is clear that it should be accountable to special resolutions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. That would resolve the issue of the remoteness of ECtHR. If the UK were not part of this jurisdiction then one would expect it would fall to be part of the jurisdiction of the United Nations Committees on Human Rights. Here are more details about the UN bodies to which there is an individual right of petition.

We then have the EEA. The EEA is governed by the rules of the EU, but is not part of the CAP or CFP. The EEA gives the rights of free movement within the countries of the EEA. This is another issue about which there is some stress.

Then is the EU itself. My own view is that given that we would not wish to leave the EEA it is better to take part in deciding what the rules of the EEA are. Hence I think being part of the decision-making body is best.

At the point at which it becomes clear what the future bodies in Europe will look like (which is not clear today) then there is a good argument for a referendum as to where the UK should rest within this. It is quite likely that this will happen within this parliament, but it has not happened yet.

The difficult question is that as to what the question should be. Do we have a range of options including leaving the Council of Europe or do we have a more limited range of options? Should we have the option of joining the nucleus of Europe or not?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…

The Labour Candidate's Book Promotion Tour and Why It Matters

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...".  Here is a copy of that pledge:


Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that he chairs the board of the company he founded in 1983. This involves one meeting a month. When he was the MP for Yardley he was a full time MP and the Job of being MP for Yardley came first. The Labour candidate has reported 1,274 hours of work other than being an MP in the two years she has been elected and her income in the last year was over £131,000.

Ignoring the question as to how she reconciles that with her "pledge" the question is raised as to what extent her external activity conflicts with the role of Member of Parliament for Yardley. She is supposed to de…