Friday, February 22, 2008

Amendment 32 of the Corbett Report on the Lisbon Treaty

Was a simple amendment calling for people to respect the result of the Irish referendum. Looking at the roll call votes for this amendment tells us all we need to know about what British politicians do when they are away in Brussels/Strasbourg thinking that nobody is watching. Worse still is the voting on Amendment 34 which called for a referendum. Guess which party had no votes in favour, yup, the Tories.
-2a. Undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland.

Pretty non controversial you would have thought. After all everybody here in the Parliament reckons themselves democrats. So how can it be that the result of the vote was this...

129 in favour

499 Against

33 Abstentions.

And shall we have a look at the British MEPs who voted on the amendment.

Yes:
Batten, Farage, Knapman, Nattrass, Titford, Deva
No:
Attwooll, Davies, Duff, Hall, Ludford, Lynne, Newton Dunn, Wallis,
Watson, Atkins, Beazley, Nicholson, Purvis, Cashman, Corbett, Corbey, Ford,
Honeyball, Howitt, Hughes, Hutchinson , Kinnock, McAvan, , Martin David, Moraes,
Morgan, Simpson, Sinner, Stihler, Titley, Willmott,
Abstain:
Ashworth, Bowis, Bradbourn, Bushill-Matthews, Callanan, Chichester,
Dover, Evans Jonathan, Harbour, Jackson, Kirkhope, McMillan-Scott, Parish,
Stevenson, Sturdy, Sumberg, Tannock, Van Orden, Hannan, Helmer, Wise.
So UKIP voted to respect the result of the Irish referendum. The Tories abstained (excepting the honourable exception of Nirj Deva). Labour and the Lib/Dems voted to ignore the Irish result.

This is truly a disgrace. Don't ever listen to people like Richard Corbett lecturing people about democracy without ramming the words down his scrawny gizzard. If a Tory pontificates about how much they want to hear the voices of the people show them this voting list.

The photo is of one of the Tory offices., They nicked the banner from UKIP. And despite this they abstained.

Update

Worse far worse than this is what happened when amendment 34 was voted upon, flagged up by Trixy,

Firmly believes that, since the choice involved will have a profound impact on the future, a European treaty should be ratified in all the Member States by means of a referendum, following a pluralist debate on the substance of the treaty and the issues at stake
Again I would suggest that this is pretty uncontroversial amongst those parties that profess to believe in a referendum in the UK, so how did the votes go?

Yes: 85
No: 526
Abstain: 53

And who amongst the Brits voted which way?

Yes:
Batten, Booth, Clark, Farage, Knapman, Nattrass, Titford, Whittaker, Wise, Allister, Mote, Lucas
So that is UKIP, one Green, the former DUP and Ashley Mote,

No:
Attwooll, Bowles, Davies, Duff, Hall, Ludford, Lynne, Newton Dunn,
Wallis, Watson, Atkins, Beazley, Chichester, Karim, Nicholson, Purvis, Cashman,
Corbett, Ford, Gill, Honeyball, Howitt, Hughes, Kinnock, McAvan, Martin David,
Moraes, Morgan, Simpson, Skinner, Stihler, Titley, Willmott, Smith
So that is the Lib/Dems, Labour, the Ulster Unionist, one of the two SNP and five Tories including the delegation leader Giles Chichester.

Abstain:
de Brún, Hannan, Helmer, Ashworth, Bowis, Bradbourn, Bushill-Matthews, Callanan, Deva, Dover, Evans Jonathan, Harbour, Jackson, Kirkhope, McMillan-Scott, Parish, Stevenson, Sturdy, Sumberg, Tannock, Van Orden, Evans Jill, Hudghton
Here we have Sinn Fein, the Tories - barring those who voted against one Green and the other SNP.

It isn't rocket science, this was a simple demand that there should be a referendum.

Five Tories! Including the delegation leader! Go on, count them. The thought that the rest of that shower, including sadly Hannan and Helmer abstained on what I thought was their party policy is an absolute disgrace. I am not sure how they will be able to face their hustings and party membership.

Update 2

Dan has responded to the criticism quite correctly,
I voted AGAINST the report Hagar refers to, the Mendez de Vigo / Corbett report, which supported the constitution. So did all but three Tory MEPs. I also voted IN FAVOUR of the various Ind/Dem amendments calling for ratification to be frozen until intelligible drafts of the treaty were available. And I voted IN FAVOUR of the motion calling for the wishes of the Irish people to be respected.

I am personally in favour of referendums in every country. But I don't believe it is up to the EU to mandate the form of ratification. That is for each nation to decide, according to its own traditions. Obviously, I'd like the Greeks and Finns and Slovaks to get the vote. But I'm not a Greek or a Finn or a Slovak, so it isn't up to me.

19 comments:

Old-Tyke said...

I hope it's okay - I just used your link to start a thread going on Sky discussion board. Thanks for letting us know.

Elaib Harvey said...

Only too happy to have been of service

Anonymous said...

I would like to know exactly which of our OWN MP's vote on the various stages of the Treaty of Lisbon. I know there are a lot of them but at least the thread could be made available for people to have a look at the voting, because IF there is ever another British Government or Parliament after the Treaty is ratified, I never want to vote for one who would choose to be voted for or PAID to give the governing of our Country away to foreigners to govern yet expect to be paid as if THEY are still doing it. Enough of the sham.

Andy said...

Apparently Hannan did not abstain on the ammendment vote, he voted for it.

JO said...

Anon said "I would like to know exactly which of our OWN MP's vote on the various stages of the Treaty of Lisbon".
That can be found on the Democracy Movement site here
http://www.referendumlist.com/find_your_mp

Just type in a constituency.
JO

Anonymous said...

Jo, your instructions are great. I found out how my MP voted on each stage of the debates in Parliament. I hope this message will be spread as part of the fight to save our Country. Let it be known, any which way, that you will only vote for an MP's that puts their own Country before the Union or, to put it another way, is true to the solemn Oath of Allegiance each MP makes to their Queen (Crown) and their own Country before they can take up their seat in Parliament (even though they have been allegedly democratically elected) and that they actually want to instigate the laws we are supposed to obey rather than allowing foreigners to do it for them.

rz said...

Maybe somebody here should notify anonymous that the ratification of the treat will not abolish the British Government. Instead it will clarify how a Country can leave the Union by a simple majority vote of its parliament. So the next time the Tories win the election the can leave the EU in no time.

Anonymous said...

Looks like one of the anti-democrats in those voting lists was a lecturer of mine at university who, I seem to remember, subscribed to the much-repeated mantra from faculty to students: "There is no right or wrong answer - only a well-argued case". I thought that was baloney then, and I can see now that my cynicism was justified.

Elaib Harvey said...

Andy
Because there are so many votes and the Parliament accepts the natural propensity to error, MEPs are allowed a couple of days to change their votes. It is possible that Dan having either followed the voting list or just through simple error voted in error. Thuis he can change the Handsard.

RZ, have you read the Treaty? Up until the ratification of the Treaty all that is required to leave is to repael the 1973 European Communities Act. Something that could be done in a moment. After ratification we would rely on Article 49a
‘Article 49 A

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 188 N(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 205(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


Or in other words it becomes a darn site more difficult. The current provisions are quite clear enough thank you.

rz said...

The Lisbon Treaty is a badly written document. However Article 49a, which you reproduced in its full length, lays out quite clearly that any government can withdraw unilaterally and the steps to disentangle the leaving Nation from the Union.

The next election campaign in the UK can therefore be used as a referendum on the Treaty, and on EU membership itself. I am looking forward to see how that works out for you.

regards,
rz

Elaib Harvey said...

RZ, you concede that the Treaty is badly written, I suppose inevitable given its gestation. But badly written or not it becomes our basic law. The fact that the Teaty is so kind to give us something complicated that we have always had, is I suppose something that I am supposed to be grateful for. I am not. It is a right that all countries posses with or without permission.

A weighted majority of I suspect pissed off countries could easily stymie any civil negotiations as mentioned in paras 2+3.

So though a vote to repael the ECA would indeed be a simle vote in Parliament. This procedure is long and drawn out with heffalump traps built in.

Whilst this is all going on, and there is an inbuilt assumption that these negotiations would take years (para 3) ten would be suprised if the whole gamut of expensive love would come nto play. LOve that would be underwritten in large part by the electorate who had voted for a party that had realed the act.

Whatever, have a fine weekend

Anonymous said...

rz and all our present MP's who will not be MP's after 2009 if the Treaty is ratified, need to remember they too will have to abide by all the laws and Treaties they are so keen to ratify at present. Unless they emigrate of course.
They certainly cannot expect the people to pay for these new REGIONAL Assemblies that the vast majority of people in this Country do not want, as well as pay their wages and vast expenses for NOT GOVERNING US?
I certainly will not vote for anyone that wants to remain the EU or abstains from voting.

JO said...

"The fact that the Teaty is so kind to give us something complicated that we have always had, is I suppose something that I am supposed to be grateful for. I am not. It is a right that all countries posses with or without permission".

And in the process, the Commission lays down the rules of that withdrawal. Including all sorts of hefty fines.

Is it also correct that during that 2 years period, Britain would not be consulted on the terms of that withdrawal, and would be stripped of it's vote in Council?

JO said...

Not your fault, but I DO wish those letters on the "word verificatin" didn't include l's or capital I's, because it's impossible to tell the difference! Same with v's and U's.
I've had to do that word verification THREE times to get my posting accepted.Happens all the time when posting on a blog!

ProfessorPelotard said...

Could anyone please post a link where one could find the votes cast by individual MEPs.

I am very interested to see how the Swedish MEPs voted on the Irish referendum.

Anonymous said...

The wording of Amendment 34 is unclear - perhaps deliberately so. " ... a European treaty should be ratified in all the Member States by means of a referendum" - "a referendum", singular - could be read as supporting a single, pan-EU referendum.

In any case, I do not admit that an EU institution should express a view on how any of the sovereign member states should ratify the treaty, beyond the general statement that it should be according to its own constitutional requirements.

The next stage from commenting on the details of the ratification procedures in different member states would be a proposal to put them under EU control. While we might be suckered into welcoming that, if the EU ordered every member state to hold a national referendum, we might later regret it when the EU forbade any member state from holding a referendum.

Or even decided that a treaty would come into force immediately on signature, all national parliaments then being bound to pass the legislation necessary to implement it.

So if I was an MEP I would probably have abstained, or possibly have voted against, this amendment.

Of course that's not to say that all the MEPs who abstained or voted against were also thinking along these lines!

rz said...

Anonymous (the last one) give yourself a pen name, so that it is possible to address you.
However, I agree with the content of your comment. The parliament has no business commenting on the ratification process.

"Of course that's not to say that all the MEPs who abstained or voted against were also thinking along these lines!"

Well, I can not look into the heads of the MEPs nor can anybody else. So secret motives should not be the basis for a judgment.

@Jo: You said "And in the process, the Commission lays down the rules of that withdrawal. Including all sorts of hefty fines." Read Article 49a again. The negotiations about the withdrawal mostly concern the final status of the former Member state in respect to the EU. The EU can fine you nothing. Clearly it will make you pay for access to the common market, like Norway and Swiss. But that should not come unexpected.

Anonymous said...

"Could anyone please post a link where one could find the votes cast by individual MEPs."

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+PV+20080220+RES-RCV+DOC+PDF+V0//IT&language=IT

pag 51 amendement 34 and 53 amendement 32

Anonymous said...

Seems half of your lot didn't bother to vote at all on the Irish referendum amendment. Too busy out spending the Eurocash were they?

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