The Dink Network

Britain after generations of independent pride...

March 5th 2008, 03:03 PM
Peasant Male United States
Wanderer of the Wasteland 
...may now become part of the EU.

I'm not British, but I know how much they value their cultural independence (like most Europeans) and I bet this is going to get ugly.

Brown Faces Labour Rebellion in EU Referendum Vote (Update4)

By Kitty Donaldson and Gonzalo Vina

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Gordon Brown faces the biggest revolt over Europe since his Labour Party came to power in 1997 when U.K. lawmakers vote tonight on whether to allow a referendum on the European Union's new governing treaty.

More than 30 Labour legislators may rebel against the government and side with Conservative Party demands for a public ballot, according to Philip Cowley, a professor of politics at the University of Nottingham who tracks revolts in Parliament. The vote is due in Parliament in London at around 7 p.m.

With polls showing opponents of the treaty in the U.K. outnumber supporters two-to-one, Brown is resisting calls for a referendum. Conservative leader David Cameron says all three main parties should honor election pledges to allow the public the final say on the treaty, which replaces the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. Critics say the treaty gives away too many powers to the EU.

``The truth is all of us in this house promised a referendum,'' Cameron said during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons today. ``We have the courage of our convictions and are sticking to that promise. You have lost your courage and that lot,'' the Liberal Democrats, ``have lost their convictions.''

Brown is almost certain to survive the rebellion over the Lisbon Treaty, which was signed in the Portuguese capital by the 27 EU leaders in December. Labour has a majority of 67 in the lower house of Parliament, and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has ordered his party, with 63 lawmakers, to abstain.

Clegg's Authority

Some Liberal Democrats have vowed to back the Conservative amendment, confronting Clegg with the first challenge to his authority since he was elected leader of Britain's third party in December.

Countryside spokesman Tim Farron said he and ``one or two'' others plan to step down from the Liberal Democrat shadow Cabinet after voting with the Conservatives for a referendum.

``If you belong to a club you abide by the rules, and so I will step down,'' Farron told BBC News 24.

``These things need to be kept in perspective,'' Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat housing spokesman, said in an interview. ``Whatever people do the sun will keep rising in the east and setting in the west. They will not be pariahs for long.''

For the government, the rebellion by Labour members of Parliament would ``only be embarrassing if it is defeated,'' Giacomo Benedetto, a lecturer in European politics at the University of London, said in an interview. ``Brown can easily ride it out if it is just a rebellion.''

Secondary Issue

The EU treaty is a second to issues such as taxation, health and education for most U.K. voters, Benedetto said.

Brown says the treaty is so diluted that it requires only ratification by Parliament, not a plebiscite. Britain declared off-limits areas such as foreign policy, taxation, labor laws and criminal justice, its so-called ``red lines.''

``If this was a constitutional treaty we would hold a referendum,'' Brown said in Parliament today. ``If there was a vote on the euro we would hold a referendum. But the constitutional concept was abandoned.''

Critics say the treaty expands the EU's powers and is little different to the failed constitution.

``The red lines leak like a sieve,'' Conservative foreign affairs spokesman William Hague said during the debate in the House of Commons today. ``I am not satisfied by the changes that have been made.'' The upper House of Lords may still reject the government plans, he said.

Labour Rebels

Labour lawmakers who have pledged to rebel against Brown include Graham Stringer and former ministers Gisela Stuart, Kate Hoey and Frank Field.

Polls rank Britain as the most EU-skeptical country. Britain refuses to adopt the euro currency, which expanded to 15 countries in January, or to enter the EU's passport-free travel zone, which swelled to 24 countries in December.

EU leaders set a January 2009 deadline for all 27 countries to ratify the Reform Treaty, which streamlines the EU's decision-making machinery and creates the post of full-time president. A veto in any country would quash the treaty. Only Ireland is legally bound to hold a referendum.

The Vault Dweller
April 1st 2017, 06:22 PM
Peasant Equatorial Guinea steam duck bloop
can't flim flam the glim glam 
April 1st 2017, 11:35 PM
Peasant Male Germany
Tanke och tal!!! Ro! Ro in sinnets land!!! 
Redink1! Stop ducking with me and skurns I posts! It is inexcusable!

Edit: then again, it's kinda funny. Hurray! I feel great again!