EUROPE: WHO'S TE LLING THE TRUTH? Yesterday, Mr Blair's European Mr Fixit Described the EU Constitution as a Mere 'Tidying Up' Exercise. Here, a Mail Writer Offers His Own Vision of What Life Will Be like as a Citizen in the United States of Europe

By Heffer, Simon | Daily Mail (London), May 14, 2003 | Go to article overview

EUROPE: WHO'S TE LLING THE TRUTH? Yesterday, Mr Blair's European Mr Fixit Described the EU Constitution as a Mere 'Tidying Up' Exercise. Here, a Mail Writer Offers His Own Vision of What Life Will Be like as a Citizen in the United States of Europe


Heffer, Simon, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: SIMON HEFFER

THE new European constitution which will transform Britain's relationship with the EU was dismissed yesterday as a mere 'tidying-up exercise' by the Cabinet's key EU strategist, writes Political Editor David Hughes.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain ruled out any prospect of a referendum on the issue which would see Britain swallowed into a United States of Europe. In an interview with the BBC's John Humphrys, he claimed that the document had no constitutional significance for the British people.

The new treaty was 'no more or less significant' than other EU treaty changes over the past 30 years, none of which have been subject to a referendum.

Mr Hain brushed aside the fact that France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Holland, Denmark and Ireland plan to hold referenda.

He said: 'You have referenda on big sovereignty issues . . . this is more of a tidying-up exercise.' Yet, in response to 15 questions tabled by the Mail (see right), which last week launched a campaign for a referendum on the new constitution, Mr Hain admitted that it would mean the wholesale abandonment of the UK veto; the appointment of a new President of Europe and the creation of a new Foreign Minister for Europe.

Just how draconian will the new powers be? The Mail asked SIMON HEFFER, who lives in Essex, to imagine living in 2010 as a citizen of the newly created United States of Europe. Although his account is fictitious, every law and regulation is a genuine part of the new European constitution.

EVEN now, I still can't get used to the fact that my postal address ends 'Eastern Region, Province of England, United States of Europe'.

It symbolises nicely what we have lost since that ghastly day just before the 2005 General Election when Tony Blair used the Parliament Acts to overturn the House of Lords's rejection of the European constitution.

The peers, like many MPs in the Commons, were appalled that Britain's independence and centuries of history should be signed away using Labour's massive majority.

There was no referendum: Blair knew he could never win one. Even though the final surrender sovereignty had not figured Labour's election manifesto, it was steamrollered through and 1,000 years of self-determination were an end.

The change of name to 'Province of England, United States Europe' was just the first sign.

Almost as soon, we were all instructed to attend local identification centres to be photographed and issued with our new United States of Europe (U.S.E.) identity cards - visible proof that Brussels law took precedence over our own.

The new Europol, whose officers roamed throughout the 25 former states, now have formidable powers. They can stop people at random and ask them to produce an ID card.

In the early days, when a few criminals chose to fight back, there were unpleasant scenes. As a result, Europol agents now only ever try to stop those who look middleclass and respectable. All of us know someone who has fallen foul of the new criminal code. Inevitably, those who have are not remotely the type of person that anyone would think of as criminals.

It is especially dangerous to go abroad - or to what we must now call another ' province' of the U.S.E.

There were many tales of people who had just returned from a happy holiday in the Algarve having the early-morning knock from Europol, and being carted off to Faro to be dumped in a sweaty cell for an offence they swore they had not committed. 'The trouble with the English on holiday,' the U.S.E. High Representative for Foreign Affairs had quipped in a celebrated aside, 'is that they all look the same.' However, it could take months or years for a case of mistaken identity to be proven. And in any case, since the U.S.E.

criminal code has no habeas corpus, you could not only be removed from Britain to face charges without a right of appeal, you could spend two years in jail before any charges were preferred. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

EUROPE: WHO'S TE LLING THE TRUTH? Yesterday, Mr Blair's European Mr Fixit Described the EU Constitution as a Mere 'Tidying Up' Exercise. Here, a Mail Writer Offers His Own Vision of What Life Will Be like as a Citizen in the United States of Europe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.