Monday, 2 June 2014

Freebie - The supremacy of European Law

David Cameron and other MPs think they can negotiate with European law.  It is a very old delusion caused by not being bothered to buy even an entry-level primer. 

During the 1980s Mrs Thatcher threw millions of pounds down a series of drains called Factortame.  The essence of this festering sequence of cases was that the British government thought it could protect our fishing rights by specifying who could own British-registered ships based on nationality, even though the British government had signed those rights away in a treaty.

You do not need to be a lawyer to understand that if you have signed a reciprocal treaty and then you go to the trade court moaning that 'snot fair, they will just point to your signature on the bottom of the deal.  What are you complaining about?  You want to fish their waters, they want to fish yours.  You can own their boats, they can own yours. If you can't take a joke, you should not have signed up. 

The code word for this is 'pooling our sovereignty in designated areas'.  i.e. All of them.  Whereas I think sovereignty is like virginity. You either are, or you aren't.

European law takes precedence over English law.    Politicians should  check what the European Court of Justice said half a century ago; they need not take this blog's word for it - why not ask a reputable law publisher?

Thompson Reuters is offering a key freebie. You can have a section of the Nutshell Guide to European Law online.   For political purposes you do not even need to read all of it.  Just scroll down to their section 4,  EU and National Law, page 36,37, 38. 

People feeling studious can read to the end, though. It is not long -  only ten pages of core material as the rest is surrounding items such as the cover.   Somebody should print this out for the Prime Minister. 


James Higham said...

It is when the leaders accept it as such. When they don't and unilaterally go their own way, it does not take precedence.

the moon is a balloon said...

At the other end of the argument corridor from the judiciary, we find the executive - or one of them. This spiegel online article is interesting - for those interested. If only for...

Finally, David Cameron took the floor. It would be a mistake to politicize the Commission by way of the lead candidates, he said. "The European Commission isn't like a national government, it has to remain impartial," he said. It isn't up to European Parliament to choose a candidate that we then simply approve later, he said adding that "we are all elected heads of government; we don't have any less democratic legitimacy than the European Parliament."

ie I think he is saying, my legitimacy stems from the sovereignty of the UK Parliament, and this carve-up concerns that part of sovereignty ceded under a here-today but possibly gone-tomorrow treaty adopted by that Parliament. The dualist answer is that EU law is superior but only because UK law says that it is. This can be repealed any day the UK Parliament chooses to light the blue touchpaper.

Net contributors to the EU budget?

Woman on a Raft said...

I've had a cursory rummage through the easily located searches, James, and I'm looking at a French case of the government defying the ECJ, but I have not yet worked out if they gave in or not. A persistent argument is that only Britain takes any notice of EU law but I just do not know enough about other jurisdictions to say if that is true.

Woman on a Raft said...

Thank you for the link, Mr Balloon. Trying to work out what David Cameron means when he even tells you the time us difficult. There is always the sense of him inviting you to project exactly what you want to hear on to it, but then finding he meant precisely the opposite - if anything at all.

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