Let the people decide is a campaign designed to unite all British people who want a say in whether Britain should transfer even more powers to the European Union.
We were promised a referendum on the EU Constitution in 2005. But then the French and Dutch people rejected it and our government was let off the hook.
Now we demand a vote on the ‘Reform Treaty’ that was agreed in principle by EU Heads of State in June because, as all EU leaders except our own acknowledge, this new treaty contains nearly all of the same features that were in the Constitution. It just uses different terminology.
The new treaty gives the EU a legal personality, meaning it can make decisions and sign treaties on the world stage as 'The EU'. It confirms that EU law has primacy over national laws. There is to be an EU High Representative who has an 'automatic right' to speak on behalf of the UK at the UN Security Council. The treaty reinforces the Common Defence Policy and removes our veto on foreign affairs, which will now be decided by Qualified Majority Voting.
Overall, member states will lose the ability to veto legislation in over 50 new areas. The excuse is that this is needed to prevent the EU machine from 'grinding to a halt', especially after the EU has expanded to include 27 countries. But there has been no let up in the rate at which new directives and regulations are being produced under existing treaties.
Gordon Brown is boasting of a new 'listening' style of government and he now has a perfect opportunity to demonstrate this. By sticking to Labour’s promise of a referendum, he could show us that his premiership is different from the 'spin and no substance' that we have had to tolerate for the last ten years.
However, the chances are that people would vote NO. That’s why he tells us that ‘no red lines have been breached’ and insists that the new treaty means minimal change so a referendum is not necessary.
As the headline of Le Monde said, “The symbols have disappeared, but the fundamentals remain.” In Britain, we say that our politicians should let the people decide.
Nigel Farage MEP
Leader of the UK Independence Party