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The UK's EU Red Lines: in full!

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Robin Lustig | 16:33 UK time, Friday, 12 October 2007

In case you're wondering what these famous Red Lines are, David Miliband has helpfully set them out in all their full splendour here.



  1. At 02:01 AM on 14 Oct 2007, Mark wrote:

    So this is what is going to protect Britain's sovereignty, its right to make certain decisions for itself. In reading it the first thing I noticed was how vague the language is. Not merely arcane legalese but probably open to a wide latitude of interpretation and dispute. It also makes many references to specific articles and provisions of the basic EU treaty itself so that if you don't have the treaty to refer to or if you don't understand it, you can't know what this treaty means either. It's also clear that the Red Lines only apply for a "transition period" of 5 years at the end of which the UK is under the jurisdiction of the EU treaty in those provisions in the Red Lines unless it advises the EU otherwise. Article 10 paragraph 4 (and similar provisions elsewhere) seems particularly ominous in regards to the possible consequences if the UK retains the Red Lines. There is also no clear cut specificity of who has the final say if there is a dispute between the British courts and the EU Court of Justice over whether or not the provisions of the Red Lines apply. In such a case, whose ruling would supervene? Now how is the average British citizen supposed to make sense out of any of this? Of course the Prime Minister doesn't want a referendum on it, anyone with common sense would realize that approval would be granting a blank check for something they don't understand themselves except insofar as it is explained to them by those favoring or opposing it. It would be interesting to interview MPs who say they support it and give them a surprise pop quiz during the interview asking them to explain in plain English what each provision means reading it to them word for word if necessary. You have to wonder how many of them do not have a clue as to what it actually means and would also vote a blank check on something they don't understand. Let's hope the lawyers on their staff can explain it to them. So this is democracy in action UK style.

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