Monday 30 July 2012

November 2014 - The End?

One of the dispiriting aspects of the eurosceptic movement is the tendency to indulge in hyperbole the consequence of which often lives up to the stereotype of foaming-at-the-mouth little Englanders.

One increasingly prevalent recent example are claims via some blogs but mostly by newspaper comments (2nd one down) that after 1st November 2014 the UK cannot leave the EU:
David Cameron, has adopted the Distraction Game, a system of calculated plodding over taking action over our membership (unlawful membership) of the EU.

If he can successfully put off giving us a say on the EU, until, 1 November 2014, he will have won, because from that date, QMV (Quality Majority Voting) come into force.

No country will be allowed to make any meaningful decision, including leaving the EU, unless it is approved by the majority vote in the EU Parliament.
It is outrageous that we have not been informed that in just two years time individual national withdrawal from the EU will be banned, unless agreed by a majority vote in the self serving EU Parliament [sic]. 
Now it's true that voting method will change for the Council under Lisbon regarding withdrawal, as noted in Article 50 - the exit clause - page 45 (my emphasis):
[the negotiations of exit] shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority...a qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Article 238(3)(b) says (page 156):
As from 1 November 2014 and subject to the provisions laid down in the Protocol on transitional provisions, in cases where, under the Treaties, not all the members of the Council participate in voting, a qualified majority shall be defined as follows:
  • (b) By way of derogation from point (a), where the Council does not act on a proposal from the Commission or from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the qualified majority shall be defined as at least 72 % of the members of the Council representing the participating Member States, comprising at least 65 % of the population of these States.

But, but, but...the method the Council uses to vote is largely irrelevant. That they vote by absolute majority, simple majority, QMV, or indeed whilst standing on their heads, stuffing their faces with doughnuts wearing clown suits matters not. Because of Section 3 of Article 50 (page 46) which states quite clearly (my emphasis):
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
In other words, if there's no agreement and the Council votes against us, we're still out in 2 years by default....even after 1st November 2014.


  1. Well then TBF he has cocked up hasn't he?

    I can't see an English version of the IRA (ERA?) being any less violent than the Irish version.

  2. The trick is not to take a bleedin thing the EU issues as gospel - just ignore it and go our own way, trading with whom we want.