European Communities Act 1972 (UK)
The European Communities Act 1972 known as the ECA 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made legal provision for the accession of the United Kingdom to the three European Communities, namely the EEC, the Coal and Steel Community. The Treaty of Accession was signed by the Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath and the President of the European Commission Franco Maria Malfatti in Brussels on 22 January 1972; the Act provided for the incorporation into UK law of the whole of European Community law and its "acquis communautaire": its Treaties and Directives, together with judgments of the European Court of Justice. By the Act, Community Law became binding on all legislation passed by the UK Parliament. Arguably the most significant statute to be passed by the Heath government of 1970-74, the Act is one of the most significant UK constitutional statutes passed; the act has been amended from its original form, incorporating the changes wrought by the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty, the Nice Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon.
On 13 July 2017, the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, introduced what became the European Union Act to Parliament which makes provision for repealing the 1972 Act on "exit day", when enacted defined as 29 March 2019 at 11 p.m. but postponed by EU decision to either 22 May 2019 or 12 April 2019. When the European Communities came into being in 1958, the UK chose to remain aloof and instead join the alternative bloc, EFTA; the British government regretted its decision, in 1961, along with Denmark and Norway, the UK applied to join the three Communities. However, President Charles de Gaulle saw British membership as a Trojan horse for US influence, vetoed it; the four countries resubmitted their applications in 1967, the French veto was lifted upon Georges Pompidou succeeding de Gaulle in 1969. In 1970, accession negotiations took place between the UK Government, led by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, the European Communities and various European leaders. Despite disagreements over the CAP and the UK's relationship with the Commonwealth, terms were agreed.
In October 1971, after a lengthy Commons debate, MPs voted 356-244 in favour of joining the EEC. For the Treaty to take effect upon entry into the Communities on 1 January 1973, for the UK to embrace the EEC Institutions and Community law, an Act of Parliament was required. Only three days after the signing of the Treaty, a European Communities Bill of just 12 clauses was presented to the House of Commons by Geoffrey Rippon; the European Communities Act came into being, Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Accession in Brussels on 22 January 1972. Denmark and Ireland joined the Community on the same day, 1 January 1973, as the UK; the European Communities Bill was introduced the House of Commons for its first reading by Geoffrey Rippon, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 26 January 1972. On 17 February 1972, the House of Commons voted narrowly by 309-301 in favour of the Bill at its second reading, after three days of intense debate. Just before the vote the Prime Minister Edward Heath argued his case in the debate with the following words.
The Bill passed on to Committee Stage before its third reading. During this discussion in the House of Commons, MPs pointed out that the Government had structured the European Communities Bill so that Parliament could debate the technical issues about how the treaty enactment would occur but could not debate the treaty of accession itself and decried this sacrifice of Parliament's sovereignty to the Government's desire to join the European project. On 13 July 1972, the House of Commons voted 301-284 in favour of the Bill in its third and final reading before passing on to the House of Lords. Before the vote took place, Geoffrey Rippon argued in the House of Commons before the vote: The Bill passed to the House of Lords; the Act received Royal Assent on 17 October, the UK's instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited the next day with the Italian government as required by the Treaty. Since the Treaty specified its effective date as 1 January 1973 and the Act specified only "entry date" for its actions, the Act and the Treaty took effect 1 January 1973, when the United Kingdom became a member state of the European Communities along with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.
The European Communities Act was the instrument whereby the UK Parliament effected the changes required by the Treaty of Accession by which the UK joined the European Union. Section 2 says "the Treaties are without further enactment to be given legal effect" in the UK, it enables, under section 2, UK government ministers to make regulations to transpose EU Directives and rulings of the European Court of Justice into UK law. The Treaty itself says the member states will conform themselves to the European Communities existing and future decisions; the Act and the Treaty of Accession have been interpreted by UK courts
1989 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament Election, 1989, was the third European election to be held in the United Kingdom. It was held on 15 June; the electoral system was First Past the Post in England and Wales and Single Transferable Vote in Northern Ireland. The turnout was again the lowest in Europe; this election saw the best performance by the Green Party, collecting over 2 million votes and 15% of the vote share. It had only received 70,853 as the Ecology Party in the previous election. However, because of First Past the Post system, the Green Party did not gain a single MEP, while the Scottish National Party received 1 seat with only 3% of the vote share; the Green Party's vote total of 2,299,287 remains its best performance in a national election, as does its percentage result of 14.5%. To date, it is the most recent election; the election saw Labour overtake the Conservatives for the first time in any election since October 1974 and the first time in a European election, winning 13 more seats. Overall turnout: 36% Overall votes cast: 15,896,078 Total votes cast: 15,361,267 Total votes cast – 534,811.
Labour – Neil Kinnock Conservative – Margaret Thatcher Green – N/A Liberal Democrat – Paddy Ashdown SNP – Gordon Wilson Plaid Cymru – Dafydd Elis Thomas DUP – Ian Paisley SDLP – John Hume UUP – James Molyneaux Elections in the United Kingdom: European elections List of members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom, 1989–94
1984 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament Election, 1984 was the second European election to be held in the United Kingdom. It was held on 14 June; the electoral system was First Past the Post in England and Wales and Single Transferable Vote in Northern Ireland. The turnout was again the lowest in Europe. In England and Wales, the Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party were in alliance, collecting 2,591,635 votes but not a single seat; the election represented a small recovery for Labour, under Michael Foot's replacement Neil Kinnock, taking 15 seats from the Conservatives. In the general election of 1983, they had only had a vote share of 2% more than the SDP–Liberal Alliance and 15% less than the Conservatives. Source: UK Parliament briefing Overall turnout: 32.6% Overall votes cast: 13,998,190 Source: UK Parliament briefing Total votes cast - 13,312,898. All parties listed. Source: Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive Source: UK-Elect Conservative - Margaret Thatcher Labour - Neil Kinnock Liberal - David Steel SDP - David Owen SNP - Gordon Wilson Plaid Cymru - Dafydd Elis Thomas DUP - Ian Paisley SDLP - John Hume UUP - James Molyneaux Elections in the United Kingdom: European elections Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 1984–1989
The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU; the Parliament is composed of 751 members, that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. It has been directly elected by the European citizens every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters. Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do.
The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU, shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council. It has equal control over the EU budget; the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, approves the appointment of the Commission as a whole, it can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. The President of the European Parliament is Antonio Tajani, elected in January 2017, he presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections; the European Parliament has three places of work -- Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices. Meetings of the whole Parliament take place in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels; the Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.
One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was a consultative assembly of 78 appointed parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states, having no legislative powers; the change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester: "For much of its life, the European Parliament could have been justly labelled a'multi-lingual talking shop'."Its development since its foundation shows how the European Union's structures have evolved without a clear "master plan". Some, such as Tom Reid of the Washington Post, said of the union: "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU"; the Parliament's two seats, which have switched several times, are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. Although most MEPs would prefer to be based just in Brussels, at John Major's 1992 Edinburgh summit, France engineered a treaty amendment to maintain Parliament's plenary seat permanently at Strasbourg.
The body was not mentioned in the original Schuman Declaration. It was assumed or hoped that difficulties with the British would be resolved to allow the Council of Europe's Assembly to perform the task. A separate Assembly was introduced during negotiations on the Treaty as an institution which would counterbalance and monitor the executive while providing democratic legitimacy; the wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. Its early importance was highlighted when the Assembly was given the task of drawing up the draft treaty to establish a European Political Community. By this document, the Ad Hoc Assembly was established on 13 September 1952 with extra members, but after the failure of the proposed European Defence Community the project was dropped. Despite this, the European Economic Community and Euratom were established in 1958 by the Treaties of Rome.
The Common Assembly was shared by all three communities and it renamed itself the European Parliamentary Assembly. The first meeting was held on 19 March 1958 having been set up in Luxembourg City, it elected Schuman as its president and on 13 May it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality; this is seen as the birth of the modern European Parliament, with Parliament's 50 years celebrations being held in March 2008 rather than 2002. The three communities merged their remaining organs as the European Communities in 1967, the body's name was changed to the current "European Parliament" in 1962. In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. Under the Rome Treaties, the Parliament should have become elected. However, the Council was required to agree a uni
2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for, held on Thursday 4 June 2009. The election was held concurrently with the 2009 local elections in England. In total, 72 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation. Notable outcomes were the significant drop in support for the Labour Party, who came third, the UK Independence Party finishing second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of them in terms of votes; this was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been outpolled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The BNP won two seats, its first in a nationwide election, it marked the first time the Scottish National Party won the largest share of the European election vote in Scotland, it was the first time since 1918 Labour had failed to come first in a Welsh election.
It was the Democratic Unionist Party's worst European election result, the first time an Irish Republican party, Sinn Féin, topped the poll in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom elected 72 Members of the European Parliament using proportional representation; the United Kingdom was divided into twelve multi-member constituencies. The eleven of these regions which form Great Britain used a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method. Northern Ireland used the Single Transferable Vote; the experimental use of all-postal ballots in four regions in 2004 was not repeated, resulting in a sharp reduction in turnout in those regions. As has been the case since 1999, the electoral constituencies were based on the government's nine English regions, Northern Ireland and Wales, creating a total of 12 constituencies; the Treaty of Nice fixed the number of MEPs for the whole European Parliament at 736. If the Lisbon Treaty had entered into force by June 2009 this figure would have been 73.
On 31 July 2007, in line with the required reduction in representation from the United Kingdom the number of members elected from each region was modified by the Boundary Commission and Electoral Commission, based on the size of the electorate in each region. The recommended changes were approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2008. Changes in regional seat allocations 1Includes Gibraltar, the only British overseas territory, part of the EU. Conservative Christopher Beazley John Bowis Philip Bushill-Matthews Jonathan Evans – Became MP for Cardiff North in 2010 Chris Heaton-Harris – Became MP for Daventry in 2010 Caroline Jackson Neil Parish – Became MP for Tiverton and Honiton in 2010 John Purvis David Sumberg Labour Robert Evans Glenys Kinnock Eluned Morgan Gary Titley UKIP Jeffrey Titford John Whittaker Roger Knapman Liberal Democrat Elspeth Attwooll Emma Nicholson Independents Den Dover – Former Conservative MEP, expelled over his expenses. Robert Kilroy-Silk – Former UKIP MEP, created new party Veritas.
Ashley Mote – Former UKIP MEP, expelled for expenses fraud for which he was jailed. Tom Wise – Former UKIP MEP, expelled for expenses fraud for which he was jailed. In the run up to the election, several polling organisations carried out public opinion polling in regards to voting intentions in Great Britain. Results of such polls are displayed below. ComRes, ICM, Populus and YouGov are members of the British Polling Council, abide by its disclosure rules. BPIX is not a member of the BPC, does not publish detailed methodology and findings. † Includes Unionists. ‡ As the number of seats was reduced, these are notional changes estimated by the BBC. 1Joint ticket, ran in England as: The Christian Party - Christian Peoples Alliance. Turnout In Great Britain was 34.3%, with 15,137,202 votes out of a total electorate of 44,171,778. Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after similar elections were held in the other 26 member states of the European Union. Scotland declared its result on Monday 8 June, as counting in the Western Isles was delayed due to observance of the Sabbath.
Great Britain kept to the European wide trend towards the right. The Labour Party, in its twelfth year as government of the United Kingdom, suffered a significant drop in support polling third, UKIP finishing second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of them in terms of votes; this was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been out polled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The Conservatives won in every region in Great Britain except the North East, where Labour won, Scotland, where the SNP won. Labour suffered most notably in Cornwall, where it came sixth behind Mebyon Kernow, in the wider South West region and South East where it polled fifth behind the Green Party; the BNP won two seats, their first in a national election. The share of the vote achieved by the English Democrats doubled; the turnout in Scotland was the lowest in the United Kingdom at 28.8%, with 1,104,512 vote
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t
1999 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament Election, 1999 was the United Kingdom's part of the European Parliament election 1999. It was held on 10 June 1999. Following the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, it was the first European election to be held in the United Kingdom where the whole country used a system of proportional representation. In total, 87 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom; the change in voting system resulted in significant changes in seats. The Conservatives won double the number of seats they had won in the previous European election, in 1994, while the Labour Party saw its seats reduced from 62 to 29; the Liberal Democrats saw their number of seats increase to 10 from just 2 in the previous election. The UK Independence Party, Green Party and Plaid Cymru gained their first seats in the European Parliament; the House of Commons Library calculated notional seat changes based on what the result would have been if the 1994 European elections had been held under proportional representation.
The notional results and seat changes are shown in the results box for this article. It was the first European Parliament election to be held since the 1997 general election which resulted in a change of government from Conservative to Labour. Turnout was 24%, the lowest of any member state in the 1999 election where the EU average was 49.51%. It was the lowest of any European election in the United Kingdom, the lowest of any member state until the 2009 election; the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999 introduced a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method into Great Britain. In Northern Ireland, the Single Transferable Vote, a form of proportional representation, used since the first European election in 1979 was retained; the Act created twelve new electoral regions, which were based on the British government's nine administrative Regions of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The effect of the introduction of proportional representation was that many small parties won seats to the European Parliament for the first time.
The Conservatives doubled the number of seats from the last European election. Labour saw their 62 seats reduced to just 29, it was the first European Parliament election to be held since the change of United Kingdom government from Conservative to Labour two years earlier. The Liberal Democrats saw their number of seats increase to 10 from just 2 in the previous election; the UK Independence Party, Green Party and Plaid Cymru won their first seats in the European Parliament. These changes were due to the move to proportional representation from first-past-the-post; the House of Commons Library calculated that if the 1994 European elections had been held under proportional representation, Labour would have won 43 MEPs, the Conservatives 26, the Lib Dems 11, the SNP 3 and Plaid Cymru 1. Summary of the election results for Great Britain Summary of the election results for Northern Ireland Labour Angela Billingham Susan Waddington Veronica Hardstaff Clive Needle Peter Truscott David Thomas Carole Tongue Shaun Spiers Mary Honeyball Michael Elliot Dr Gordon Adam Tony Cunningham Mark Hendrick Hugh McMahon Anita Pollack Ian White Joe Wilson David Morris Michael Tappin David Hallam Roger Barton Barry Seal Liberal Democrat Robin Teverson Conservative Edward Kellett-Bowman Bryan Cassidy Pro-Euro Conservative Party John Stevens, former Conservative MEP Brendan Donnelly, former Conservative MEP Independent Labour Christine Oddy, former Labour MEP Scottish Socialist Party Hugh Kerr, former Labour MEP Leeds Left Alliance Ken Coates, former Labour MEP Labour's results resulted in a debate within Labour about the introduction of proportional representation.
In September 1998, a poll of 150 MPs had found that 58% backed the introduction of proportional representation. A follow up poll ran on the Sunday after the election found that this had decreased to 43%, with the majority wanting a return to the first-past-the-post system, it has been argued however, that the introduction of proportional representation reduced Labour's losses as first-past-the-post is more sensitive to swings in public opinion. Elections in the United Kingdom: European elections Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 1999–2004 Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 1999–2004 by region Breakdown of results by Region House of Commons Research Paper 99/64 "Elections to the European Parliament – June 1999"