A High court ruling removed the last obstacle to Britain's ratification of the European Union's treaty despite Labour's manifesto for a public vote. Read the entire article. You can find the Court's decision here. According to the Court, Mr. Wheeler did not establish to the Court's satisfaction that the original EU Constitution and the new Lisbon Treaty are essentially identical documents and that, as a matter of policy, the Court would not enforce a campaign promise.
As I pointed out two weeks ago, Britain only had three chances to stay out of the EU - the vote in the House of Lords, the Irish Referendum, and the court case challenging Labour's refusal to grant a referendum to the people of Britain. As an aside, voting in the Tories would be utterly useless - Tory leader (term used loosely) David Cameron has already shrugged his shoulders and announced that he would treat Labour's acts as a fait accompli. Since I wrote that post, The House of Lords, gerrymandered by Labour PM Tony Blair near a decade ago, rolled over for Labour. Ireland voted against ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon / EU Constitution, but the EU is doing all it can to ignore its own laws and go ahead with the Treaty anyway. And today, the court case by Stuart Wheeler predicated on enforcing Labour's promise in their 2005 election plank to put any EU Constitution to a vote of the people, has failed at the lower court.
This from the Telegraph:
Mr Brown has been under intense pressure to declare the treaty dead after Irish voters rejected it in a referendum earlier this month.
Mr Wheeler's case had forced the Prime Minister to delay the formal ratification of the treaty until the court's ruling.
At the heart of the case was the question of whether a political party's election manifesto was legally enforceable and whether the public have a "legitimate expectation" to see measures pledged during an election campaign enacted.
Rabinder Singh QC, appearing for Mr Wheeler, 73, said at a recent two-day hearing: "The Government promised a referendum and should keep its promise."
At stake were the fundamental principles "of good administration, fair play and straight dealing with the public," he said.
However, Jonathan Sumption QC, appearing for the Office of the Prime Minister, told the judges: "This case is politics dressed up as law."
. . . Ruth Lea, Director of the Global Vision think-tank, said: "Today's ruling by the High Court is extremely dispiriting especially as many European politicians have made it quite clear that the Lisbon Treaty is the Constitutional Treaty in all but name.
"Under these circumstances, the British people are surely entitled to their referendum on the Treaty as the Irish people did. All our polling shows an overwhelming majority in favour of a referendum."
As to the argument that Wheeler's case that this was nothing more than politics dressed up as the law, what does that attorney think the law is if not politics "dressed up" with the police power of the state? This was really a case of whether politicians can be held to their political promises, which I happen to think is the weakest of arguments that could have been brought in this matter. As a policy matter, I do not think that appropriate for a court to decide for that as, carried to its logical extreme, it has the potential for havoc as circumstances or minds may validly change. That said, this particular promise was on a matter that goes to the heart of democracy in Britain and, as such, is I think a special case. Further, Courts in Britain, just as in the U.S., seem wholly unable to stay out of making inappropriate policy decisions of late, so we shall see.
The EU Referendum proclaims itself "disappointed but not surprised." They note that Mr. Wheeler's chances on appeal are, at best, slim.
The approval process for the EU is going forward with the Queen apparently having already given her assent. At Brits At Their Best, they have posted an open letter to the Queen noting that she has violated her Coronation Oath to defend the laws of Britain and withdrawing their fealty to the Crown. The fight is hardly over, and the Irish No vote has at least exposed how the EU's ruthless determination to put its plans in place wholly irrespective of democracy or law - something that will surely come back to haunt them. And perhaps the Irish vote may yet prove decisive.
A High court ruling removed the last obstacle to Britain's ratification of the European Union's treaty despite Labour's manifesto for a public vote.
Read the entire article. You can find the Court's decision here. According to the Court, Mr. Wheeler did not establish to the Court's satisfaction that the original EU Constitution and the new Lisbon Treaty are essentially identical documents and that, as a matter of policy, the Court would not enforce a campaign promise.