Lisbon Treaty ends EU’s universal ‘free movement of workers’
That is a simple strategy for UKIP, but doubtless they will continue targeting anyone and everyone, perpetuating the careers of many Europhiles in the process.
But as the House of Commons decides if the British people will get their long-promised referendum on this de facto ‘Constitution for Europe’, Cranmer has come across something rather good within its obfuscatory verbiage - a concrete example of that elusive principle of subsidiarity.
The freedom of movement for workers is a policy chapter of the acquis communautaire of the European Union. It is part of the free movement of persons and one of the four economic freedoms: free movement of goods, services, labour and capital.
The Treaty of Rome is quite clear in Article 39, which states that ‘Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Community (and that ) such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of the Member States as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment’.
While the meaning of 'worker' is a matter of European Community law, the essential feature of an employment relationship is that ‘for a certain period of time a person performs services for and under the direction of another person in return for which he receives remuneration’.
The Lisbon Treaty sustains this provision of the Treaty of Rome in all areas bar one – sport.
Sport is mainly the responsibility of individual states or other international organisations rather than that of the EU. However, some EU policies have had an impact on sport, such as the free movement of workers which was at the core of the Bosman ruling, which prohibited national football leagues from imposing quotas on foreign players with European citizenship. Under the Treaty of Lisbon, sport is given a special status which exempts the sector from much of the EU's economic rules. This followed lobbying by governing organisations such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, due to objections over the applications of free market principles to sport which led to an increasing gap between rich and poor clubs.
So there we have it - a firm loosening of the acquis which permits national teams to maintain a national identity. So, having set the precedent, it may be possible in the future to argue for other sectors, like British doctors, British teachers; indeed, British jobs for British workers.
Alas, Cranmer is off on a flight of fancy. Truly, he urges all lovers of democracy, liberty and truth to pray today, and pray hard. This referendum must be granted if only on a point of principle – namely that all the major parties committed themselves at the last general election to a referendum, and now Labour and Liberal Democrats are reneging because ‘the constitutional concept is abandoned’.
It is a lie. This treaty is contrary to all that Cranmer holds dear, and an affront to the sovereignty of Parliament and the constitutional status of Her Majesty.
The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much…