Andrew Duff MEP (Liberal Democrat) has just been re-elected as President of the Union of European Federalists at their Congress in Brussels at the weekend (25-27 March, 2011). Part of his acceptance speech included the following:
"By 2013 we will be ready for a new revision of the EU treaties which will fill in the gaps left by the Lisbon treaty and repair some of its shortcomings."
So by 2013/2014 there may well be yet another treaty change, coupled with a plethora of directives and regulations which it can be assumed without any doubt will involve yet more 'tightening' of economic governance and yet more integration resulting in yet more loss of powers. Whether any of this will give a reason for a referendum under the Coalition's European Union Bill is debatable, as Cameron and Clegg will do all they can to avoid such a referendum - even to the extent of lying to the British people, something which Cameron showed he can do quite easily - as he illustrated yesterday in the House of Commons.
Why politicians seem unable to be transparent and honest with the British people, especially in matters EU, heaven only knows. The latest example of political 'flannel' comes from Norman Baker, Transport Minister, who dismisses the latest White Paper from the EU Commission, which intends to ban cars from city centres, with the words:
"We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas"
Just how many times have we heard our politicians assuring us that 'this' won't affect us; 'this' is not even being discussed; etc etc, only to find that 'this' does affect us and had been discussed for some time. As Transport Minister, Norman Baker must be aware that transport is a shared competence with the EU (Article 4, TFEU) and as such must also be aware that if the EU says cars will be banned, they will be banned and there is nowt Baker or anyone else can do about it.
Is it asking too much of our politicians to be honest? Do they have no honour? Are they so blind that they are unable to see the distrust and revulsion in the electorate's eyes? Why can they not see what is in front of their noses when they continually bemoan the lack of interest shown by the electorate in politics?
With regard to the last point, on reflection perhaps it is because they are unaware of words attributed to Jay Leno: