David Cameron’s Abandoned EU Commitments – 15 So Far!
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins – Greg_L-W.
Downing Street blunders into revealing David Cameron’s abandoned EU commitments
Bernard Jenkin MP said:
‘David Cameron made a number of key commitments as part of a programme for fundamental change in the UK’s relationship with the EU. These were in Conservative Party manifestos and other key statements which we were led to believe would be the policy of the Government. But these commitments to the British people have now been abandoned.
‘The renegotiation package does not represent any substantive change at all in the UK’s relationship with the EU. It is telling that the Prime Minister’s top team thinks that his commitments were “mistakes”.
‘The Prime Minister led us all in opposition to the Lisbon Treaty, because we are against EU taking more and more control. Now he is suggesting that we should vote to stay signed up to all the provisions of Lisbon that we opposed, wherever it is taking the UK in the years to come. But he has kept his promise of a referendum.
‘Yesterday’s letter was a defining moment. It is now all too clear to Conservative Party members and to the country: if you want to take back control over how laws are made in this country, over how much we pay to the EU and our relationships with the rest of the world, you need to Vote Leave.’
How Downing Street revealed the Prime Minister’s 15 abandoned commitments
Abandoned Commitment 1
We said: ‘Securing treaty change before the referendum. In January 2015, the Prime Minister said his plans ‘do involve … proper, full-on treaty change’ (The Guardian, 4 January 2015, link).’
Downing Street said: ‘We have not ruled out treaty change’
In fact: A treaty that has not been ratified before the referendum will have the same legal status as an unsigned contract. The Prime Minister used to talk about securing treaty change before the referendum. In January 2014, he stressed the importance of this to ensure his proposed changes to EU welfare rules: ‘To change that you’ve either got to change it with other European countries at the moment or potentially change it through the Treaty change that I’ll be putting in place before the referendum that we’ll hold on Britain’s membership of the EU, by the end of 2017.’ Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 2
We said: ‘In 2005, Cameron stated that “our aim should be to take back control of employment and social regulation”.’
Downing Street said: ‘This was never part of our renegotiation. David Cameron made this statement before he was even Leader of the Conservative Party’
Broken manifesto pledge. This isn’t just something David Cameron said before he became leader of the Conservative Party – the 2010 Conservative manifesto stated: ‘We will work to bring back key powers over legal rights, criminal justice and social and employment legislation to the UK.’ Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 3
We said: ‘In 2009, Cameron promised to “limit … the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over criminal law to its pre-Lisbon level” (BBC News, 4 November 2009, link).’
Downing Street said: ‘This was never part of the renegotiation – and is a quote four years before the Prime Minister first set out his renegotiation and referendum agenda in his 2013 Bloomberg speech.’
In fact: David Cameron promised to make this change in the 2010 Conservative manifesto, which said: ‘We will work to bring back key powers over legal rights [and] criminal justice … to the UK’. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 4
We said: ‘In November 2014, the Prime Minister claimed that “we want EU jobseekers to have a job offer before they come here” (BBC News, 28 November 2014, link).’
Downing Street said: ‘We are already delivering this, and it was never part of the renegotiation. We have already ensured that EU migrants will not be able to claim Universal Credit while looking for work, and if those coming from the EU haven’t found work within six months, they can be required to leave unless they have genuine job prospects.’
In fact: The Prime Minister stated clearly in November 2014 that ‘EU migrants should have a job offer before they come here… My very clear aim is to be able to negotiate these changes for the whole EU… If negotiating for the whole EU should not prove possible, I would want to see them in a UK only settlement’. However, as the ECJ made clear in 1991, article 45 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union ‘entails the right for nationals of Member States to move freely within the territory of the other Member States and to stay there for the purposes of seeking employment.’ Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 5
We said: ‘The Conservative European Parliamentary Manifesto of 2009 said that: “The European Parliament must end its absurdly wasteful practice of meeting in Strasbourg as well as Brussels”.’
Downing Street said: ‘We have never mentioned this in the context of renegotiation. The UK government and Conservative MEPs have consistently argued this case in a campaign, which is gaining traction.’
In fact: This is another example of Downing Street admitting that a manifesto promise won’t be honoured. If, after six years, Number 10 says this campaign is only ‘gaining traction’, shouldn’t the Government be doing something bolder to end this ridiculous situation which costs taxpayers over €100 million a year? Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 6
We said: ‘The Conservative Party Manifesto of 2015 stated that “We will push for further reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy”. Mr Cameron did not mention agriculture in his speech.’
Downing Street said: ‘we have never mentioned this in the context of the renegotiation’.
In fact: David Cameron used to argue that the EU needed ‘fundamental, far-reaching change’. British farmers – and consumers, who pay over the odds thanks to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy – will note that the Prime Minister does not think the CAP is part of the ‘fundamental change’ the UK needs. Even the EU-funded ‘Agra Europe’ report which came out last month conceded that, outside the EU, ‘consumers would gain from lower food prices’. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 7
We said: ‘The Conservative Party Manifesto of 2015 pledged “further reform of … Structural Funds.” Structural funds were not mentioned in Cameron’s speech.’
Downing Street said: ‘We … have never mentioned this in the context of renegotiation.’
In fact: Number 10 are making it clear that they do not intend to honour an explicit manifesto pledge. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 8
We said: ‘The UK can be permanently outvoted by the Eurozone. The UK has extremely little influence inside the EU’s institutions.’
Downing Street said: ‘We have already managed to achieve safeguards against Eurozone caucusing, negotiated by the Prime Minister, such as over the bail-outs, have had lasting effect’ (sic).
In fact: These safeguards only apply in the European Banking Authority (EBA) – not the Council of Ministers, where the key decisions are made and the Eurozone has a permanent majority. And the safeguards in the EBA are limited: EU law states that only one non-euro member state needs to approve a measure once those states fall below four in number – something that is likely to happen in the next four years. Moreover, these rules only apply to decisions under secondary legislation, and could be abolished by the Eurozone using its permanent majority. George Osborne himself admitted in his speech in Berlin last week that the EU had broken its promises on the bail-outs, and this will remain the case so long as article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union allows the Eurozone caucus to force the UK to bail out insolvent Eurozone states. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 9
We said: ‘Without treaty change, the EU can carry on breaking its promises to non-Eurozone countries – as the PM and Chancellor know.’
Downing Street said: ‘We have not ruled out treaty change and we have already secured safeguards against Eurozone caucusing e.g. on banking rules.’
In fact: Again, the ‘safeguards’ the Government have secured are very limited (see abandoned commitment 8 above). The UK has no protection against Single Market laws affecting banks which pass through the Council of Ministers where the Eurozone has a permanent majority. Number 10’s response shows that they are not pushing for changes to voting procedures in the Council. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 10
We said: ‘The Prime Minister claimed that more regulations will be repealed this year than during the whole of the previous Commission. In fact, the size of the EU’s acquis is growing. According to the EU’s Eur-Lex database, the number of EU legislative acts in force has grown by almost 1,000 over the past year – from 22,139 acts on 1 October 2014 to 23,072 on 9 November 2015.’
Downing Street said: ‘We continue to press for a lighter regulatory budget.’
In fact: The Conservative manifesto for the 2014 European elections promised to ‘Cut red tape to reduce the costs to all businesses by at least £1 billion by 2019.’ There is no sign that the Government is still pushing for a £1 billion reduction – getting the EU to increase red tape at a slightly slower rate is not the same as a cut. The Government acknowledges that it has such little influence in the EU that it can’t even secure all of the minor reforms recommended by its own Business Task Force two years ago. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 11
We said: ‘The only way to stop ever-closer union is to end the supremacy of EU over British law. The phrase “ever closer union” was only inserted in the Maastricht Treaty at the UK’s request as part of the Major Government’s claims that it had put the brakes on federalism. Changing it would not alter how the ECJ interprets and creates EU law. The ECJ invented the concept of the supremacy of EU law – it was not in the original Treaties. The only way to end this is to Vote Leave.’
Downing Street says: ‘The constitutional phrase “Ever Closer Union” has been interpreted politically and legally to mean closer integration. The Court makes use of the preamble of the Treaties – where the phrase ‘Ever Closer Union’ is located – to make its rulings.’.
In fact: The 2015 Conservative manifesto promised: ‘No to a constant flow of power to Brussels. No to unnecessary interference.’ In his Bloomberg speech of 2013 David Cameron argued that ‘we need fundamental, far-reaching change’ with the EU. In order to stop the ECJ transferring more powers from Member States to the EU, much more radical changes are needed than just removing the reference to ‘ever closer union’. When the ECJ invented the principles of the supremacy and direct effect of EU law over fifty years ago, it did not even refer to these three words – tinkering with them does not come close to the ‘fundamental, far-reaching change’ the Prime Minister promised. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 12
We said: ‘Cameron promised in 2014 that “if an EU jobseeker has not found work within six months, they will be required to leave” (BBC News, 28 November 2014, link). Yet as the ECJ ruled in September this year, “Union citizens who have entered the territory of the host Member State in order to seek employment may not be expelled for as long as they can provide evidence that they are continuing to seek employment and that they have a genuine chance of being engaged.” Today, the Prime Minister ignored that ruling and claimed he had achieved his objective.’
Downing Street said: ‘This claim is misleading. The ECJ judgment that Vote Leave refers to actually endorses our plan.’
In fact: The ECJ judgment makes clear that jobseekers cannot be ‘required to leave’ – as the Prime Minister promised in November 2014 – ‘for as long as they can provide evidence that they are continuing to seek employment and that they have a genuine chance of being engaged’ (full judgment here). This confirms a 1991 judgment interpreting article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Expelling all jobseekers after six months can only therefore be achieved by Treaty change. Number 10 no longer says all jobseekers ‘will be required to leave’, merely that ‘they can be required to leave unless they have genuine job prospects’. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 13
We said: ‘Sir Jeremy Heywood has reportedly told the Prime Minister that his proposal to ban EU migrants from claiming tax credits in the UK for four years will be deemed illegal under EU law (BBC News, 4 November 2015, link).’
Downing Street said: ‘This is speculation. Our proposal is to ensure EU migrants cannot claim welfare for four years.’
In fact: It’s interesting to note that Downing Street does not deny that the Cabinet Secretary has said this. The European Commission was quick to say yesterday that this key promise is incompatible with EU law. In his speech yesterday, David Cameron made clear that he is ready to drop the plan: ‘I understand how difficult some of these welfare issues are for other Member States. And I am open to different ways of dealing with this issue.’ Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street (and the Cabinet Secretary).
Abandoned Commitment 14
We said: ‘Any deal the Government negotiates will be meaningless without treaty change before the referendum.’
Downing Street said: ‘The 1992 Edinburgh Agreement, which the Danish government secured, proves the opposite; it gave Denmark opt-outs that were legally-binding. Twenty three years later these opt-outs still hold. We have not ruled out treaty change.’
In fact: In 2014 David Cameron promised that there would be Treaty change before the referendum. Now Number 10 reveal that they are not looking at Treaty change until after the vote – when any EU member state can veto our changes. Vote Leave research has shown that key promises in the 1992 Edinburgh Agreement were broken by the EU. The Agreement declared that the provisions of the Maastricht Treaty on EU citizenship did ‘not in any way take the place of national citizenship’ and that the question of whether a person possessed the nationality of a member state ‘will be settled solely by reference to the national law of the member state’ . However, the EU has since reneged on this agreement – in 2001 the ECJ declared that ‘Union Citizenship is destined to be the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States’. In 2010, the ECJ held that a decision to deprive someone of national citizenship was a matter of EU law and that member states can no longer automatically strip citizenship from people who acquire it by deception. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
Abandoned Commitment 15
We said: ‘David Cameron has watered down his commitment to a “complete opt-out” from the Charter, which is not even mentioned in his letter today. In 2009, Mr Cameron called for “a complete opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights” – now all he is proposing is a fudge.’
Downing Street said: ‘We are tackling this by enshrining in our domestic law that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights does not create any new rights.’
In fact: Number 10’s promises of domestic legislation are as credible as Tony Blair’s claims the Charter would have the same legal status as ‘The Beano orThe Sun’. Their response is also legally inaccurate. It is firmly established that EU law is supreme over UK law – as spelled out in section 2 of the European Communities Act 1972. The UK’s so-called ‘opt-out’ from the Charter of Fundamental Rights (Protocol 30), is meaningless – as the European Court of Justice made clear in 2011. The UK Supreme Court has since ruled that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has ‘direct effect’ in UK law. Putting the text of this Protocol into UK law will make no difference. Since 2009, the ECJ has used the Charter to create ‘the right to be forgotten’ and to create new prisoner voting rights. Any attempt by the UK to say that the Charter doesn’t apply in the UK will be deemed illegal by the ECJ and the UK will be subject to fines and damages as a result. Either way, it is much less than the ‘complete opt-out’ that David Cameron promised in 2009. Another commitment abandoned by David Cameron – as revealed by Downing Street.
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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain having only 8%, if united, say. The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy; yet The EU & many of its vassal States are willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, when we leave the EU, using a better negotiated & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.One huge benefit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly in our own interest and that of our partners around the world in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and term imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their ionterpretation of the rules handed down as if they were some great achievement by the EU.The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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