Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Surrender Sovereignty to Europe, Labour MPs Tell Blair

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Surrender Sovereignty to Europe, Labour MPs Tell Blair

Article excerpt

TONY BLAIR came under pressure from Labour MPs today not to sign away key powers at his final EU summit.

The outgoing premier was told he had no right to bind "a Government he no longer represents" to a new EU treaty.

Gordon Brown was served notice that if Mr Blair puts sovereignty at risk, MPs will demand a referendum before the new treaty becomes law.

There is unease on all sides of the Commons over European Union talks next week designed to concoct a replacement for the flopped EU constitution.

Austin Mitchell, chair of the Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign, said: "It would be entirely wrong for Tony Blair in his last days to sign a treaty on behalf of a Government he no longer represents. It should be left to Gordon Brown. If there is any surrender of sovereignty there should be a referendum on it."

David Cameron's Conservatives say they suspect Mr Blair and Mr Brown have already agreed to surrender key powers without a referendum.

Mr Blair is thought to be under intense pressure to give up the UK veto over large parts of justice and cross-border crime measures..

What's in the new treaty

Out

The word "constitution"

Formal status for trappings of nationhood, such as EU flag, anthem and Europe Day (all can exist without being in a treaty)

In the balance

Permanent post of European Union president

Charter of Fundamental Rights

In

An EU foreign minister, diplomatic service and joint EU embassies. Member states will have to respect EU foreign policy

More majority voting, which critics claim could be equivalent to a one-third reduction in Britain's veto powers

Scrapping Britain's right to nominate two commissioners Veto on criminal justice and immigration policy reduced or abolished Increased powers for MEPs

Powers for European Court of Justice over criminal law..

TONY BLAIR came under pressure from Labour MPs today not to sign away key powers at his finalEU summit. …

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