are basically sceptical and – following success in those 1999 Euro-elections – he gambled heavily, and wrongly, on this in the 2001 general election.
Jack Straw, when Foreign Secretary, led attempts to reform EU institutions and make them more democratic. An EU constitution to make the EU more able to cope with its expanded membership was drafted by former French President Giscard d’Estaing but surprise defeats of the document in France and Holland in 2005 caused a hiatus. The resultant redraft of the constitution, now called a constitutional
the LisbonTreaty at the hands of Irish
citizens three years later. Storey, chair of the campaigning group Action
from Ireland, presented a concise summary of the leftist critique, arguing
that the main tendency has been for the Union to enshrine neo-liberal
ideology in its basic structures, constraining the ability of national
governments to pursue alternative policies.7 He listed three main areas
in which this tendency could be observed:
(1) Competition law: the European Commission has intervened to
break up state monopolies and to prevent governments from
concern with communicating clearly to the inhabitants of the EU is encapsulated in the draft of the LisbonTreaty agreed by the twenty-seven members in October 2007: it ‘consists of some 65,000 words of detailed inserts written in the usually dense and utterly impenetrable legalese of treaty-lingo, and to be appended to the extant treaties’. 17 The EU is a factory for laws and regulations which has created a growing ascendancy for lawyers. All too often they use a nomenclature or jargon that widens the gulf between the EU and the citizen.
A Czech journalist observed
need to contain the politicised Englishness that had been mobilised around the issue of EU membership and associated concerns about sovereignty and immigration. English discontent was contained at the very moment when it was used by Brexiteers to justify a major shift in British policy.
As Theresa May explained in an open letter to Donald Tusk when triggering Article 50 of the LisbonTreaty on 31 March 2017, ‘the referendum was a vote to restore, as we see it, our national self-determination’ (May, 2017 ). That restored self-determination was underwritten by
, the various expansions of membership of the EC and EU, and the single currency project) the Federal Republic has been a key actor. Chancellor Merkel’s energetic promotion in 2007 of what became the LisbonTreaty (to replace the proposed ‘European Constitution’, defeated by referenda in France and the Netherlands) was a more recent instance of the significant role played by the Federal Republic in matters European.
The status of the German Democratic Republic in relation to the EC had always been a special one. The Federal Republic, because of its claim concerning
’, in which its political editor, George Pascoe-Watson, judged that: ‘The new European Constitution threatens to transform virtually every aspect of British life for ever’ – none of it for the better. The accompanying image of EU flags fluttering over the Palace of Westminster, the seat of Parliament, graphically illustrated his contention that ‘Brussels is relentlessly bolstering its control over Britain and the rest of Europe’. Any such European entanglement would detract from Britain’s parliamentary and judicial sovereignty because power under the LisbonTreaty
forum commenting on the desirability of holding a national ‘Britain in or out’ referendum on the EU, to replicate that held on EEC membership in 1975. As we would expect of people logging onto a forum maintained by a newspaper that is no great supporter of the EU, the vast majority of the posts were sceptical about the EU, about Gordon Brown’s handling of the ‘referendum’ question and about that on the LisbonTreaty in particular. More pertinent, however, than the numbers of ‘pros’ versus ‘antis’, was the jargon used to express opposition to the EU, the three examples
Whitman 2007: 262). Into its second and third terms New Labour alighted on reform of the EU’s decision-making machinery as its point of attack, which became channelled through the Constitutional and LisbonTreaty negotiations. In both cases British influence was held to be at stake. In October 1999 economic reform was taken to be about switching EU policies ‘away from regulation to job creation’ (Blair 1999f), such that after the Lisbon summit in March 2000 Blair could argue that Britain’s active involvement in the process (explored in Hopkin and Wincott 2006: 54
connections and the pragmatic, hard-headed calculations out of which he formed British thinking on the single currency and the LisbonTreaty (Brown 1999e; Brown 1999f; Brown 2000b; Brown 2002b; Brown 2002d; Brown 2005i; Brown 2006d). Brown was a self-confessed fan of the ‘special relationship’ and believed ‘no power on earth can drive us apart’ (Brown 2008a). He was committed not just to ‘celebrating but deepening’ Anglo-American relations, on the commercial as well as the political level (Brown 2003f). Brown’s affection for the US and its history prompted commentators
(UACES), he offered Commission staff to speak to students, either by visiting their universities or by hosting meetings in London, about topics central to the activity of the EU such as climate change and the LisbonTreaty. The communications strategy of the EU is clear about the Commission having the role of ‘build[ing] up support for the European Union’s policies and its objectives’. But Open Europe saw this as ‘a completely unacceptable use of public money’, especially since ‘the EU has no mandate for education policy’. 41
Much scholarship has been devoted to