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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This is why the EU Bill should be amended

The Government on Friday published an annual report that reveals which, and how many, EU crime, justice and immigration laws the UK signed up to between December 2009 and December 2010.

The report states (p4) that the Coalition Government has opted in to eight new EU justice and home affairs laws since coming to power in May 2010, including the hugely controversial European Investigation Order, a new "IT Agency" to oversee the EU's vast crime and immigration databases (with start-up costs of around €113m), and granting United States' authorities access to European citizens' banking data under the so-called SWIFT agreement.

These are all transfers of power from the UK to the EU but Ministers were free to sign up to them without any democratic checks - Parliament had no say.

The Coalition has said it wants to operate a case-by-case policy of deciding whether to opt in to new EU justice and home affairs laws. Well last week's report shows what that policy amounts to in practice. Of 13 decisions whether to 'opt in' or not, the Government opted in 8 times. That's an opt in percentage of 62%.

The Government's record so far would suggest then that the UK will continue to play a major part in the EU's ever-expanding role in justice and home affairs. But under the current EU Bill, Parliament and voters have no say over the steady steam of laws that are transferring power over British justice and immigration policy to the EU level.

This is why amending the EU Bill is so important. Allowing the status quo to continue simply widens the democratic deficit between the Government and the general public on these crucial issues. Crime, justice and immigration are important to people and voters do not expect their Government to have free reign to hand over powers to the EU in these areas.

We hope that as many MPs as possible make their voices heard when these issues are debated tomorrow and that they impress on the Government the need for Parliament and voters to have more say over this crucial aspect of the UK's relationship with the EU.


A K Checkley said...

It's all part of the plan to lead us into EU Serfdom by the Liberal Democrat power in the wretched Coalition government.

Gambian said...

I have no idea what the Plan is, but, I do know that our ancestors fought two World Wars to make us free and to keep us free. Those in Office have no idea what took place in the last Century, or before as they have no sense of history! Now, these fools are giving away our rights left right and centre, no doubt to feather their own nests and to appease those faceless wonders in the EU Parliament. I fear for the future of my grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

Ifeel so strongly about this issue and anythink to do with our involvement with the E U that I feel like pulling my hair out with FRUSTRATION, Is there anyone out there that can hear us,Its about time that the people we elect to power should keep there promises,Do we really want to be part of the E U and ruled by unelected faceless wonders that rule our lives, We should be allowed to govern ourselves with no interference from outside, everybody seems to think that they know whats best for us, when they cant look after themselves and the mess theve left behind is criminal, We need out of the E U then weve only got ourselves to blame, Give Britain a CHANCE while we still have a choice before we wake up and its to late.

sceptic3 said...

It is quite obvious that any referendum on any EU issues will be held with great reluctance. The whole thing was a ploy to trick eurosceptics into voting Tory. They seem to think that any lie is justified in pursuit of their cause; which is the eventual dissolution of Great Britain.

The Labour party may have lost the General Election; but the government has not changed.