Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lisbon Treaty ends EU’s universal ‘free movement of workers’

Today the House of Commons votes on the Conservative amendment for a referendum to be held on the Lisbon Treaty. This will be the most revealing vote in a generation. All of those MPs who do not vote in favour of holing referendum need to be replaced at the next general election by those who would.

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…


Blogger Bert Rustle said...

Why are so many UK politicians happy to divest themselves of even more powers of policy construction to the EU, whilst retaining responsibility for implementation? How long before the Electorate realise that the relation of Westminster to Brussels is beginning to resemble that of the Scottish and Welsh assemblies to Westminster? If UK politicians are not in politics to exercise power, then why are they in it? It appears to me that Peter Oborne's analysis The Triumph of the Political Class gives a plausible explanation.

Politicians belittle the similarity of the Treaty versus the Constitution, which is falsifiable. Indeed, since there are virtually no difference between the two, let's just call it the Constitreaty! This is what Andrew Ayres has dubbed it over at his site -- a site where you can auto-compare the two documents side-by-side -- word-by-word.

5 March 2008 at 09:00  
Blogger Trixy said...

Dearest, UKIP have already declared that they will not stand against any sitting MP who has signed up to the cross party campaign of Better Off Out. Any MP who has not done that is not in line with UKIP's policy and there is no reason why we should not stand against them.

Any candidate who wants to withdraw from the EU is firstly standing for the wrong party and secondly can say anything they like.

5 March 2008 at 10:20  
Blogger Bert Rustle said...

Trixy the problem is that they stand against the BNP, splitting the "better off out" vote.

5 March 2008 at 11:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, bert rustle, the BNP is (a) (still) racialist and (b) has a platform of basically socialist economic policies, which are probably more socialist than what the ghastly EU imposes upon us. So UKIP and the BNP are hardly in competition.

Your Grace: James 5:16 is curious. Of course, an "effectual" prayer "availaeth much"! Surely, the statement is tautologous. One must check the Greek.

5 March 2008 at 12:47  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
the lib dem position amazes me , i mean why not just be the pro europe and vote accordingly . They are clearly very afraid of somthing.

of course labours very smug three line whip and huge majority gives them a sort of authority.

but I do think that 80% of the elctorate want a vote on the new constitutional powers that this treaty (which is the EU constitution in anything but name) is the workings of dictatorship .

you do begin to suspect the rumours that gprdon brown has adopted a dumbing down position over all these years to get us to this stage . i also hear that he has been programming our children in a way that undermines traditional senses of morality in order for him to carry out this deed .

i do not think the matter will rest even if the vote goes for the goverment , its just such high treachery of our rights to vote for any changes on how and from who we are governed by.

we elected the mps to be the guardians of at least that understanding , but no labour are breaking that bit of manners and changing things during office without it being in there manifesto.

its so very wrong and corrupt, the people dont know and they wont get to vote , how much more undemocratic can it be??

5 March 2008 at 13:56  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

People would realise what was happening if there was an EU football tem conjored ito existence that superseeded all national teams. Ironic.

5 March 2008 at 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh go on stick to your principles Honourable Members and don't give the people a referendum we have waited so long for Parliament to finally demonstrate its contempt...the use by date is getting nearer, don't want to let this gunpowder go to waste.

5 March 2008 at 17:24  
Anonymous the last toryboy said...

Given the free movement of peoples and goods is about the one useful thing the EU has given us, how wonderful that now the tyranny is here they are getting rid of it.

5 March 2008 at 18:43  
Blogger Bert Rustle said...

Anonymous wrote ... the BNP is (a) (still) racialist and (b) ... probably more socialist than what the ghastly EU imposes upon us. So UKIP and the BNP are hardly in competition. ... They are not in competition as regards the EU as they both wish to leave it and so they should cooperate, just as Anthony Wedgewood Benn and various Tories did on the Common Market referendum.

5 March 2008 at 19:19  

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