The leader of the British Conservative Party, David Cameron, has delivered a speech on the EU. One issue has obviously dropped off the Tory agenda – there will be no new referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. The reason – holding a referendum now will be like holding “a referendum to stop the sun [from] rising in the morning”.
One of the concrete steps for a possible future Tory government will be to prohibit, by law, the transfer of power to the EU without a referendum. Cameron also proposes a new law “to make it clear that ultimate authority stays in this country, in our Parliament”. The third measure is to require all changes in primary EU law without a new ratified treaty (the so-called pasarelles) to be subject to “full approval by Parliament”.
Cameron demands also new opt-outs for Britain:
- opt-out from the Social Chapter;
- new, better opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
- limiting the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over criminal law to its pre-Lisbon level.
Cameron recognizes that these new opt-outs are subject to approval by all the Member states of the European Union.