Thursday, May 13, 2010

More thoughts on "national sovereignty"

National sovereignty sounds a great concept, vaguely put, but how is it achieved in 2010 reality?

For example, is it by taking back law making power from the EU as the new UK government plans to do?

While David Cameron wants to remove the application of the EU Working Time directive in the UK, Reuters reports "Memo to boss: 11-hour days are bad for the heart" (read the Reuters story here)

Does a sovereign nation allow inward investment that is controlled by foreign governments?

What does a sovereign nation do when another nation builds nuclear power plant near their border? What kind of walls does it erect to be safe (Turkey and Russia agreed today to build a nuclear powerplant in Turkey, near its Aegean coast)? Plus sick birds, CO2 pollution, volcanic ash, etc, do not have to have a passport or visa to cross borders, do they? How does that affect real national sovereignty?

Plus, dear PM of the UK, "sovereign nations" do not form governments under the pressure of what the "markets" will think, do they?

What I am trying to say is that one cannot be selective in one's sensitivities re "national sovereignty".


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Appendix:


".... 9. Relations with the EU

We agree that the British Government will be a positive participant in the European Union, playing a strong and positive role with our partners, with the goal of ensuring that all the nations of Europe are equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century: global competitiveness, global warming and global poverty.

We agree that there should be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next Parliament. We will examine the balance of the EU’s existing competences and will, in particular, work to limit the application of the Working Time Directive in the United Kingdom.

We agree that we will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that Treaty – a ‘referendum lock’. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that the use of any passerelle would require primary legislation.

We will examine the case for a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority remains with Parliament.

We agree that Britain will not join or prepare to join the Euro in this Parliament.

We agree that we will strongly defend the UK’s national interests in the forthcoming EU budget negotiations and that the EU budget should only focus on those areas where the EU can add value.

We agree that we will press for the European Parliament only to have one seat, in Brussels.

We agree that we will approach forthcoming legislation in the area of criminal justice on a case by case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security, protecting Britain’s civil liberties and preserving the integrity of our criminal justice system. Britain will not participate in the establishment of any European Public Prosecutor ..."

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