Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon is an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union. The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, entered into force on 1 December 2009, it amends the Maastricht Treaty, known in updated form as the Treaty on European Union or TEU, the Treaty of Rome, known in updated form as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or TFEU. It amends the attached treaty protocols as well as the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community. Prominent changes included the move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in at least 45 policy areas in the Council of Ministers, a change in calculating such a majority to a new double majority, a more powerful European Parliament forming a bicameral legislature alongside the Council of Ministers under the ordinary legislative procedure, a consolidated legal personality for the EU and the creation of a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Treaty made the Union's bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights binding. The Treaty for the first time gave member states the explicit legal right to leave the EU, established a procedure by which to do so; the stated aim of the treaty was to "complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action". Opponents of the Treaty of Lisbon, such as former Danish Member of the European Parliament Jens-Peter Bonde, argued that it would centralize the EU, weaken democracy by "moving power away" from national electorates. Supporters argue that it brings more checks and balances into the EU system, with stronger powers for the European Parliament and a new role for national parliaments. Negotiations to modify EU institutions began in 2001, resulting first in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which would have repealed the existing European treaties and replaced them with a "constitution".
Although ratified by a majority of member states, this was abandoned after being rejected by 54% of French voters on 29 May 2005 and by 61% of Dutch voters on 1 June 2005. After a "period of reflection", member states agreed instead to maintain the existing treaties, but to amend them, salvaging a number of the reforms, envisaged in the constitution. An amending "reform" treaty was drawn up and signed in Lisbon in 2007, it was intended to have been ratified by all member states by the end of 2008. This timetable failed due to the initial rejection of the Treaty in June 2008 by the Irish electorate, a decision, reversed in a second referendum in October 2009 after Ireland secured a number of concessions related to the treaty; the need to review the EU's constitutional framework in light of the accession of ten new Member States in 2004, was highlighted in a declaration annexed to the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The agreements at Nice had paved the way for further enlargement of the Union by reforming voting procedures.
The Laeken declaration of December 2001 committed the EU to improving democracy and efficiency, set out the process by which a constitution aiming to achieve these goals could be created. The European Convention was established, presided over by former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, was given the task of consulting as as possible across Europe with the aim of producing a first draft of the Constitution; the final text of the proposed Constitution was agreed upon at the summit meeting on 18–19 June 2004 under the presidency of Ireland. The Constitution, having been agreed by heads of government from the 25 Member States, was signed at a ceremony in Rome on 29 October 2004. Before it could enter into force, however, it had to be ratified by each member state. Ratification took different forms in each country, depending on the traditions, constitutional arrangements, political processes of each country. In 2005, referendums held in France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitution.
While the majority of the Member States had ratified the European Constitution, due to the requirement of unanimity to amend the treaties of the EU, it became clear that it could not enter into force. This led to a "period of reflection" and the political end of the proposed European Constitution. In 2007, Germany declared the period of reflection over. By March, the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the Berlin Declaration was adopted by all Member States; this declaration outlined the intention of all Member States to agree on a new treaty in time for the 2009 Parliamentary elections, to have a ratified treaty before mid-2009. Before the Berlin Declaration, the Amato Group – a group of European politicians, backed by the Barroso Commission with two representatives in the group – worked unofficially on rewriting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. On 4 June 2007, the group released their text in French – cut from 63,000 words in 448 articles in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe to 12,800 words in 70 articles.
In the Berlin Declaration, the EU leaders unofficially set a new timeline for the new treaty: 21–23 June 2007: European Council meeting in Brussels, mandate for Intergovernmental Conference 23 July 2007: IGC in Lisbon, text of Reform
1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum
The United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum known variously as the Referendum on the European Community, the Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum, took place under the provisions of the Referendum Act 1975 on 5 June 1975 in the United Kingdom to gauge support for the country's continued membership of the European Communities — known at the time as the European Community and the Common Market — which it had entered two and a half years earlier on 1 January 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. Labour's manifesto for the October 1974 general election had promised that the people would decide through the ballot box whether to remain in the EC; this was the first national referendum to be held throughout the entire United Kingdom and remained the only UK-wide referendum until the 2011 referendum on alternative voting was held thirty-six years and was the only referendum to be held on the UK's relationship with Europe until the 2016 referendum on continued EU membership.
The electorate expressed significant support for EC membership, with 67% in favour on a national turnout of 64%. The referendum result was not binding. In a 1975 pamphlet Prime Minister Harold Wilson said: "I ask you to use your vote. For it is your vote; the Government will accept your verdict." The pamphlet said: "Now the time has come for you to decide. The Government will accept your decision — whichever way it goes." The February 1974 general election had yielded a Labour minority government, which won a majority in the October 1974 general election. Labour pledged in its February 1974 manifesto to renegotiate the terms of British accession to the EC, to consult the public on whether Britain should stay in the EC on the new terms, if they were acceptable to the government; the Labour Party had feared the consequences of EC membership, such as the large differentials between the high price of food under the Common Agricultural Policy and the low prices prevalent in Commonwealth markets, as well as the loss of both economic sovereignty and the freedom of governments to engage in socialist industrial policies, party leaders stated their opinion that the Conservatives had negotiated unfavourable terms for Britain.
The EC heads of government agreed to a deal in Dublin on 11 March 1975. On 9 April the House of Commons voted by 396 to 170 to continue within the Common Market on the new terms. Along with these developments, the government drafted a Referendum Bill, to be moved in case of a successful renegotiation; the referendum debate and campaign was an unusual time in British politics and was the third national vote to be held in seventeen months. During the campaign, the Labour Cabinet was split and its members campaigned on each side of the question, an unprecedented breach of Cabinet collective responsibility. Most votes in the House of Commons in preparation for the referendum were only carried after opposition support, the Government faced several defeats on technical issues such as the handling and format of the referendum counts; when the European Coal and Steel Community was instituted in 1952, the United Kingdom decided not to become a member. The UK was still absent when the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, creating the European Economic Community.
However, in the late 1950s the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan changed its attitude and appointed Edward Heath to submit an application and lead negotiations for Britain to enter the Common Market. The application was made at a meeting of the EC in January 1963, but the French president Charles de Gaulle rebuffed and vetoed Britain's request. Despite the veto, Britain restarted talks with the European Communities countries in 1967. Heath included negotiating membership in the 1970 Conservative manifesto. Heath became Prime Minister, led many of the negotiations: he struck up a friendship with the new French president Georges Pompidou, who oversaw the lifting of the veto and thus paved the way for UK membership. Between 21 and 28 October 1971 the House of Commons debated whether or not the UK should become a member of the EC, with Prime Minister Edward Heath commenting just before the vote: The House of Commons voted 356-244 in favour of the motion, with the Prime Minister commenting straight afterwards on behalf of the house.
No referendum was held when Britain agreed to an accession treaty on 22 January 1972 or when the European Communities Act 1972 went through the legislative process, on the grounds that to hold one would be unconstitutional. The United Kingdom joined the European Communities on 1 January 1973, along with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland; the EC would become the European Union. Throughout this period, the Labour Party was divided, both on the substantive issue of EC accession and on the question of whether accession ought to be approved by referendum. In 1971 pro-Market figures such as Roy Jenkins, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said a Labour government would have agreed to the terms of accession secured by the Con
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
Labour for a Referendum
Labour for a Referendum was a political campaign by members of the Labour Party that sought a referendum in the United Kingdom on the European Union. The movement was set up following a pledge by the Conservative Party to hold an in–out vote if re-elected in United Kingdom general election, 2015. In the election campaign, Labour Party policy was that such a referendum would be an unnecessary distraction from government priorities. Following the Conservative victory in that election, the Labour Party committed to supporting passage of a Referendum Bill through Parliament – thus achieving the result sought by this campaign; the campaign was chaired by JML chairman and Labour party donor John Mills, directed by Dominic Moffitt, with party support from over 50 councillors, three council leaders and MPs including Kate Hoey, John McDonnell and Keith Vaz, the campaign aimed to move the policy of the Labour Party to one which supports a referendum on membership of the EU, with the intention that this might help to secure a victory in the 2015 general election.
Former Northern Ireland spokesman Jim Dowd MP said: "I have been a supporter of this cause for many years and believe the Labour Party must commit to a referendum before the European elections next year. As the Tories tear themselves apart over this issue, Labour for a Referendum provides the opportunity to unite the party on giving the people a say on our future in the EU." After it launched in May 2013, it attracted support from a number of councillors, MPs and party activists. Jim Dowd, MP for Lewisham West and Penge and former Northern Ireland spokesman Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East and former Europe minister Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall John Cryer, MP for Leyton and Wanstead Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton Austin Mitchell, former MP for Great Grimsby Lord Moonie, Member of the House of Lords David Drew, former MP for Stroud Kevin Meagher, associate editor of Labour Uncut Owen Jones, Guardian columnist Richard Wilson As of 13 June 2015, the status of the group is unclear: the web site appears to be closed and more following the General Election in May 2015, the Labour Party declared that it will support the Referendum Bill in Parliament, achieving the aim of the campaign
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
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
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