Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How will you do that?

From the Guardian, in a piece headed, "Cameron prioritises exit from EU social chapter," we learn that the Boy today pledged that a future Conservative government would pull out of the EU social chapter as a "top priority".

But, as we reported a few days ago, UKIP's Nigel Farage has already questioned the EU commission on this, eliciting from José Manuel Barroso the following response:

The Commission assumes that when the Honourable Member refers to the Social Chapter in the Treaties, he is referring to the social provisions contained in the articles 136 to 145 of the EC Treaty. These provisions are part of the whole Treaty and cannot be isolated. All Member States are bound by the Treaties they have signed and ratified and which have entered into force, including the social provisions they contain. Consequently, a withdrawal from these provisions by a Member State would require an amendment of the EC Treaty in accordance with Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union.
Yet, in his speech to the Movement for European Reform, the Boy told his audience that his plan was: "not to posture but to persuade" in Europe.

"I believe that the best way to pursue your national interest, is not to posture - but to persuade," he said. "I will be polite, but solid and consistent. I will work to create a flexible Europe by building alliances with those who share our interests and our ideas."

"Flexibility," he continued,

…is vital in the area of worker protection, where there is such labour market diversity and demographic difference across the EU. That's why I do not believe it is appropriate for social and employment legislation to be dealt with at the European level. It will be a top priority for the next Conservative Government to restore social and employment legislation to national control.
And just how does he plan to "persuade", politely or otherwise, the European Union members to agree to a major amendment to the Treaty? How will you do that, Mr Cameron?


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