The last time Britain had a referendum on our membership of the EU, or the EEC as it was then, Edward Heath and his Government based their own “Remain” campaign on deception and fear mongering. The campaign was underpinned by a phantom renegotiation and the pretence that our membership was a mainly economic relationship and would not lead to us ceding sovereignty. Sound familiar? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…
The first YouGov poll after the conclusion of David Cameron’s deal, as recorded by The Times, had the leavers losing four points, dropping back from 42 to 38% while the “remainers” on the other hand dropped just one point to come in at 37%. The “don’t knows”, however, soared to 25%, suggesting there was some confusion over the renegotiation and whether or not the deal was worth anything.
In response to the question: “From what you have seen or heard, do you think the renegotiation between Britain and the EU is a good or bad deal for Britain?” Those who think Mr Cameron has gained a “good” deal ran to 26% (up from 22% in early Feb), while those thinking it was a “bad” deal call in at 35% (down from 46%). The “don’t knows” on the other hand climb from 32 to 39%, again indicating that there is much confusion, and everything to play for.
51% of respondents felt that the changes did not go far enough, as opposed to 15% that thought the Prime Minister had got it “about right”, and only 4% felt he had gone too far. However, sentiment is drifting in Mr Cameron’s favour. In early February, 56% thought he had not gone far enough.
It is crucial for the Leave campaigners to diminish the prestige of the prime minister, and the chancellor, and expose the phoney deal. Not only because the re-negotiation was a total failure and the deal does not amount to major reform, but because it is being sold to us as a treaty that is legally binding and irreversible and this is a lie. In doing this we can reverse the movement of sentiment towards Mr Cameron’s position. Insofar as there seems to be a correlation between views on the deal and voting intentions, the more the deal can be trashed, the better it is for us.
Let it be known, tell everybody you know. David Cameron has told the House of Commons, the media, and the public that his deal is legally binding and irreversible. He has lied. This is a phoney deal, with minor cosmetic changes that are likely to crumble to dust in time.
The intervention by Mr Gove was quite helpful, but his focus on the potential part of the European Court of Justice in challenging the deal was less so. The real issue about this deal is not that it might or might not withstand a challenge on the detail, but whether it is a valid treaty.
While the deal, does in fact cover different areas, those parts which require treaty change for their implementation cannot be valid, in that they breach fundamental principles of treaty law (Articles 34 and 61 of the Vienna Convention), in seeking to impose obligations on third parties, and being made dependent on actions over which the signatories have no control, the execution of which they cannot guarantee.
This fact is well known to the leaders of the other EU member states who are well aware of the charade:
And it is openly discussed amongst European federalists. James Bartholomeusz and Daniel Schade from the Project for Democratic Union concluded that there is nothing of substance to the renegotiation agreement and Andrew Duff produced a short paperconfirming what we have been saying; that the deal is not a valid treaty, not legally binding and not irreversible. The Leave Alliance have been pointing this out at every given opportunity as has Dr Richard North – now we need each and every one of you to do the same.
David Cameron and George Osborne are still saying that they achieved a “reformed European Union” and their whole campaign to keep the UK subordinate is underpinned by their insistence that they came back from Brussels with an irreversible, binding treaty. Do not let them get away with it.
If we had a properly functioning democracy and a responsible, informative media they would have been ravaged for their deceit. Instead, even Conservatives campaigning to leave the EU have been timid in the face of this because they are thinking of their careers and their party loyalties. They won’t do what it is necessary and attack their leader. Labour are providing no real opposition, partly because they are so utterly weak and woeful, but mainly because they are happy to be complicit in the lies to the public because remaining in the EU is more important than honesty.
It did not help one bit that the publicity of Boris Johnson announcing he was for Leave took all the attention off the deal and turned the campaign into a celebrity personality contest, Leave campaigners have since drifted away from criticising the deal. We shouldn’t, it’s the fragile foundation to the Government’s campaign to keep us in. Expose that deception and you discredit their cause and force people to ask questions.
This article was originally published by the author 22 March 2016. http://thescepticisle.com/2016/03/22/davesdodgydeal-the-re-negotiation-failed-the-deal-is-a-lie-its-essential-we-keep-exposing-it/