Britain to be offered opt-out on EU justice

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#1
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/036d3f04-0320-11dc-a023-000b5df10621.html

Britain is to be offered an “opt-out” from some of the most sensitive parts of a revamped European Union constitution, as Angela Merkel, German chancellor, steps up efforts to negotiate a deal on a treaty.

Ms Merkel’s allies have identified Britain and Poland as the biggest obstacles to an agreement, but her team remains confident it can end five years of constitutional wrangling at a Brussels summit next month.

To help win Britain over, Ms Merkel, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, is said by colleagues to be willing to let London choose whether to take part in police and judicial co-operation on criminal issues when national vetoes in the area are abolished.

The move could help unlock an agreement on a streamlined treaty to replace the EU constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005, allowing the bloc to play a more active role in the world.

But Poland remains strongly opposed to a proposed change in EU voting weights, while Britain has other concerns about a charter of fundamental rights – which businesses fear could give workers more rights to strike – and a change in the status of EU foreign policymaking.

Although Tony Blair, British prime minister, is relaxed over the extension of qualified majority voting in legal areas, his presumed successor, Gordon Brown, wants to avoid a referendum on a treaty at all costs and is therefore wary of any agreement that might necessitate one.

Mr Brown is nervous of giving ammunition to the Conservative opposition and eurosceptic British media, which could seize on any removal of the national veto as grounds for a referendum.

Although Mr Blair hopes to negotiate most of the EU treaty in Brussels on June 21-22 – days before leaving office – it will fall to his successor to finalise negotiations in the autumn and to sign and ratify the treaty.

National “opt-outs” irritate other European countries and have typified British reluctance to become fully involved in EU projects such as the euro and internal border control regime.

Examples of EU action could include the setting of minimum standards for detainees, including detention times and access to a lawyer or interpreter. Police co-operation could include allowing officers in “hot pursuit” to cross national borders.

Hans-Gert Pöttering, president of the European parliament and a confidant of Ms Merkel, told Handelsblatt that “we can think about” time-limited opt-outs if it helped secure a deal.

German presidency officials said on Tuesday night that no offers had been made, and Mr Blair’s aides said the prime minister had not decided whether he would even want the opt-out.

They point out the UK has participated in closer co-operation in the justice field even when it could have exercised past opt-outs; Mr Blair ended the British exclusion from EU social policies soon after taking office.
 
#2
Whooppee..!

So, ten minutes after the British public reluctantly sign up to a "moderate" EU Constitution, the vetoes and opt-outs get cancelled, and we're committed to the Fourth Reich....
 
#3
Funnily enough the UK already refuses to accept certain lumps of EU Law.
For example the EU Convention on Human Rights say you cant force a confession out of anybody, UK Law allows just that to happen.
The reason you are no longer have the right to remain silent? So you cant avoid fines from a Gatso!
If there is a method in the bits we accept and those we don't I'm damned if I can see it.
 
#4
oldbaldy said:
Angela Merkel, German chancellor, steps up efforts to negotiate a deal on a treaty.
To help win Britain over, Ms Merkel, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, is said by colleagues to be willing to let London choose..

Ms Merkel’s allies have identified Britain and Poland as the biggest obstacles to an agreement,

German presidency officials said on Tuesday night that no offers had been made, and Mr Blair’s aides said the prime minister had not decided whether he would even want the opt-out.
.
Ermmm..didn't we win the war?
 
#5
jagman said:
Funnily enough the UK already refuses to accept certain lumps of EU Law.
For example the EU Convention on Human Rights say you cant force a confession out of anybody, UK Law allows just that to happen.
The reason you are no longer have the right to remain silent? So you cant avoid fines from a Gatso!
If there is a method in the bits we accept and those we don't I'm damned if I can see it.
Pretty simple really. Which bits mean more dosh to the exchequer or means the government can give more dosh to their friends?
 
#6
jagman said:
Funnily enough the UK already refuses to accept certain lumps of EU Law.
For example the EU Convention on Human Rights say you cant force a confession out of anybody, UK Law allows just that to happen.
The reason you are no longer have the right to remain silent? So you cant avoid fines from a Gatso!
If there is a method in the bits we accept and those we don't I'm damned if I can see it.
There is currently a case before the EctHR that should settle this once and for all.

Whilst the UK Govt are not 'obliged' to strictly enforce rulings from this court they are by way of treaty obligation required to take note and accomodate them as best as they can.

Whilst we await the ruling from Strasbourg (it was supposed to be delivered before Easter) there are also cases pending in the High Court in London awaiting the decision from Strasbourg.

A google on O'Halloran (EctHR Case) and Burgess-James (High Court Appeal Case) should throw more light on the arguments or look at the link below.

Pepipoo
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
Rumour has it (and this would be the right place to further it) that Mr Bliar et al are guilty of treason.

Why are they guilty of treason? Well, how about giving up nearly 1,000 years of sovereignty without the permission of the British people.

By denying us the right to vote on such a huge issue, he is in effect guilty of treason. Why have hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers and civilians been sent to their deaths to defend our shores and maintain our independence if the PM is going to give it away later on without even asking us?
 
#8
Biped said:
Rumour has it (and this would be the right place to further it) that Mr Bliar et al are guilty of treason.

Why are they guilty of treason? Well, how about giving up nearly 1,000 years of sovereignty without the permission of the British people.

By denying us the right to vote on such a huge issue, he is in effect guilty of treason. Why have hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers and civilians been sent to their deaths to defend our shores and maintain our independence if the PM is going to give it away later on without even asking us?

What 'Biped' said.... Agree.
 

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