Michael Fabricant has welcomed the Prime Minister’s U-turn on a referendum
on the European Constitution. "Whatever his reasons, and I suspect they
have more to do with expedience than principle, I welcome Tony Blair’s
decision to hold a referendum" says Michael.
"The Constitution as it stands at present is bad for Britain and the people
of the west midlands. I think Blair is beginning to realise this. The
facts are these:
"Firstly, the EU Constitution would increasingly transfer power over our
asylum system to Brussels. European judges would decide how we deal with
asylum seekers and it would become impossible for us to change international
treaties to adapt international asylum rules to modern circumstances. This
could have a detrimental effect on our national security. Secondly, the EU
Constitution would mean that the EU would decide what people’s rights were
on arrest. At present it is our Parliament and judicial system which sets
these rights and laws. Our rights on arrest, how much time some prisoners
serve and some criminal laws (such as those on fraud or trafficking and or
any cross border organized crime) will be decided in Brussels, not Britain.
"The EU Constitution would increasingly give powers to unelected European
judges under the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights. European judges could
tear down our Trade Union laws, replacing our industrial relations framework
with a more European one, such as those in France – taking us back to the
bad old days of the seventies.
"It would establish an EU President and EU Foreign Minister with his own
diplomatic corps. He or she would represent the EU to the rest of the
world. That would mean the Prime Minister and Government, which we elect,
would increasingly take a back seat and Britain’s interests would be lumped
in with every member state’s.
"Finally, the EU Constitution would give the EU a new status – making it all
but a European federal state. Under these arrangements Britain’s place in
the EU would be on the verge of becoming akin to California’s place in the
US. The ultimate authority over our lives would be Brussels and not be
Parliament answerable to the British people.
"None of these is acceptable. At a time when the EU is now estimated to be
costing each household around £1,000 each and every year, there has to be a
major rethink about EU budgets and costly regulations on our local industry.
The Constitution would just make all these issues worse."