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TUAEUC digest 22/01/08

MEPs admit no right to strike in Charter of Fundamental Rights

In a letter in the Times, Gary Titley, Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, and three fellow Labour MEPs endorse the Lisbon Treaty and insist there is no right to strike in the proposed Charter of Fundamental Rights. This follows a comment in Parliament by Europe Minister Jim Murphy: "It is clear that the UK does not have an opt-out on the Charter of Fundamental Rights".

 Times

Simon Jenkins: "everyone but a fool (or a minister)" knows that the Lisbon Treaty is the Constitution in all but name 

Writing in the Guardian, Simon Jenkins suggests that "everyone but a fool (or a minister) knows that the new treaty is the rejected 2005 constitution in all but name." He notes that "both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown pledged there would there be no question of 'bringing it back with a few amendments' and pretending it was different. There were no ifs, buts or equivocations. There were no references back to previous referendums or debating points about the Single European Act. There was just an old-fashioned, cast-iron, read-my-lips, democracy-is-sacred, thundering great pledge."

Guardian Jenkins

Nick Clegg faces internal criticism after vowing to block referendum

There is continued coverage of Nick Clegg's announcement yesterday that the Lib Dems would vote against a referendum on the revised EU Constitution, despite initially indicating that his party would abstain from voting altogether. The Sun notes that "Party insiders were furious that he had changed tack after it was agreed that the policy was to abstain from all votes on a poll." The Mail argues that "crucial voters in marginal seats could be persuaded to shift to the Conservatives if they are denied a vote on the treaty, which ends Britain 's right to veto EU policy in more than 40 areas." The Evening Standard described Nick Clegg's announcement on the BBC Today programme as "a performance he may regret" and suggested "Come back, Ming all is forgiven".

Writing in the Guardian, Simon Jenkins argues that on the referendum issue the Lib Dems "are neither liberal nor democratic", and that Nick Clegg "wriggled and squirmed when asked yesterday if he would support the government and oppose a referendum. It was like asking a Catholic if he would support the Pope."

Mail Sun Guardian Jenkins Evening Standard - no link

Giscard d'Estaing: Let's draft a single EU treaty in 2009

On his blog, Valery Giscard d'Estaing says, "There is no longer any reason to have two treaties.  After the European elections, in an atmosphere of serenity, we could decide to go back to a single text, in which will feature, in a single continuous read, the two current treaties."

VGE

TUAEUC has produced a new pamphlet outlining why trade unionists should demand a referendum on the renamed EU Constitution. It has also produced a document arguing the democratic case against the EU Constitution (below) and copies of both are available free on request