Thursday, December 13, 2007

Guest Column - We Need A Vote

On the day Gordon Brown is due to sign the EU constitutional treaty, West Cumbrian businessman Mike Graham argues that the British people should be given a changce to vote on the treaty before parliament ratifies it.

We need a vote before giving the EU new powers. In my view, most Cumbrian voters already feel that the EU has a powerful and almost uncontrollable influence on our everyday lives.

Although many people are not aware, issues as varied as fortnightly bin collections,Home Information Packs and the number of hours we are allowed to work are all now decided in distant EU institutions.

It is estimated that four out of every five national laws now originate in Brussels. In 2005, the government promised a referendum on the EU constitution, deciding to let UK voters have the final say on whether they wanted even more decisions to be taken by the EU.

Despite this, Gordon Brown is now trying to go back on his word.

They are now trying to reintroduce the rejected constitution in the form of a new treaty. This is a deeply dishonest process.

British voters surely deserve better than this, and the revised constitution deserves a vote because it would grant the EU even more control over our daily lives on issues as fundamental as crime, immigration and public services like schools and hospitals.

The constitution gives remote EU bodies more scope to meddle in decisions which most people think should be made close to the people they affect. This is why voters must have a say before giving any more power to Brussels.

Gordon Brown has already made important U-turns on issues such as super-casinos and cannabis. If we are going to persuade him that he needs to do the same on the EU constitution, then we need to gather as much support as possible. If you want your voice to be heard, please sign up to support our campaign at

Mike Graham is a Whitehaven-based businessman and Cumbria spokesman for the national cross-party ‘I want a’ campaign

This article originally appeared in the "News and Star" and is re-published here with the author's permission


Anonymous said...

There is an alternative: Free Europe Constitution, which limits power of politics. You can vote YES or NO at!

Chris Whiteside said...

A Free Europe constitution might have quite a lot to commend it but sadly that isn't what is on the table at the moment.

Before such a thing can be considered we have to get the European elites - and not just the present government in Britain - to accept that for the European project to work it has to be brought in line with the wishes of the peoples of Europe - and that means proper democratic accountability, starting with the vote we were promised on the constitutional treaty.