European Union Bill – a dog’s breakfast or dinner?
Make provision about treaties relating to the European Union and decisions made under them, including provision implementing the Protocol signed at Brussels on 23 June 2010 amending the Protocol (No. 36) on transitional provisions annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community; and to make provision about the means by which directly applicable or directly effective European Union law has effect in the United Kingdom.Simples.
In the Red Corner are those who think it’s a dog’s dinner (ie, smart, flash). It amounts to an inviolable absolute ‘Sovereignty Bill’ to ensure that Parliament remains omnipotent and that any future transfer of competences from Westminster to Brussels can only be made with the explicit consent of the British people expressed through a referendum. This Bill, they aver, puts parliamentary sovereignty on the statute book: Clause 18 declares: ‘It is only by virtue of an Act of Parliament that directly applicable or directly effective EU law (that is, the rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies and procedures referred to in Section 2 (1) of the European Communities Act 1972) falls to be recognised and available in law in the United Kingdom’.
In the Blue Corner are those who think this is a dog’s breakfast (ie, a total botch job). It does not do what it says on the tin insofar as the Government retains the final say on whether or not an issue merits a referendum, such that a further Bill would be required for a referendum actually to take place. Further, the Bill says nothing about what happens when the European Courts decide to ‘develop’ existing law to extend Community ‘competence’ without the fuss and bother of more legislation. And what, pray, happens when Labour comes to repeal it? Is sovereignty gone? It is an absurd Bill, giving the illusion of a sovereignty long since surrendered, or ‘pooled’.
The Coalition agreement reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats states that there should ‘be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next parliament’. And yet there has been. For the Tory-Europhiles and LibDems, it’s a dog’s dinner. For the Eurosceptics, it’s a dog’s breakfast.
His Grace has no idea why a canine morning meal has come to mean quite the opposite of its evening meal. Some believe them to be synonymous, while others draw a distinction.
According to the BBC, Labour believe this Bill to be a ‘dog’s dinner’.
His Grace thinks they mean ‘breakfast’.
Frankly, he is dog-tired of this interminable EU-UK dog’s life. In all of his dog days in this dog-eat-dog world he has never understood why this dog-eared parliament, stuffed with dog-leg MPs with dog-end perspectives, surrendered its omnipotence to a dog-in-the-manger oligarchy such that the EU tail is now constantly wagging the UK dog and we’re all dogged with directives and dogma perpetuated by dogmatic dogsbodies who couldn’t give a damn about anything but their doggone careers. In case they haven’t noticed, they're all in the doghouse, and if something isn’t done soon to remedy this dog's breakfast the British people will let slip the dogs of war and a dogfight will ensue the likes of which we have not seen for three or four centuries.
And when it comes, as it surely must, it will be the canine’s testicles.