Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Time to call the Eurosceptics’s bluff, and here’s how.

Posted by Jason O on Aug 11, 2009 in Lisbon Treaty |

In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty gave all citizens of

EU Citizenship: membership has its privleges.

EU Citizenship: membership has its privleges.

EU member states parallel citizenship of the European Union. Most eurosceptics went ballistic, denouncing it as an infringement of their sovereign right to be British or Danish. Indeed, many even renounced it, although only symbolically, as it isn’t possible to do so legally.

Why not? Why not let eurosceptics legally renounce their EU citizenship and instead receive a non-EU national passport or identity card? After all, this is a free union, and why should someone have EU citizenship forced upon them against their will?

Of course, in renouncing their EU citizenship, they would also be renouncing the rights that come with it. The right to travel and live and work and study in the EU, and indeed the relative ease of travel throughout the EU. And of course their right under the EHIC to emergency health care when in another EU state. And their right to work without work permits.

Let us give them the right to queue in airports with Bangladeshis and Cameroonians as opposed to using the EU passport channel.

Eurosceptics are very quick to say that this European project has no legitimacy with the people of Europe. Let’s see. Yes, maybe hundreds of thousands will renounce those rights and send back their burgundy passports. Maybe even a few million.

But I suspect that millions more, given the chance, will decide to keep their passports with European Union on the front, and the rights that come with it, and that means something.   

2 Comments

david morris
Aug 12, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Calling Planet Jason,

Eurosceptics (and I am not one) DO say the “European Project” has no legitimacy. That’s because it, (the EP) has none. It has been snuck in piecemeal via the back door & never been put through the democratic process. The last time we (in the UK) were able to vote in a referendum it was on membership of the EEC. (for those of tender years this was the European Economic Community endorsed -in the UK- by such luminaries as Traitor Edward Heath.

By all means put the EP to a pan-EU vote & stand by the result.

Will your EUSSRapparatchiks allow/permit this ? Answers on a postcard…………

Kind regards


 
Jason O
Aug 13, 2009 at 7:35 am

David,

I agree with Nick Clegg. I think that Britain should have a referendum on continued membership of the EU. It’s up to every member state to decide their own approach. I suspect that if there was a referendum across the EU, some countries would vote to leave. So be it. This isn’t the United States, this is a confederation of free nations. But it is not up to Brussels to tell member states how to run their internal political affairs. They work for us, not vice versa.
I don’t agree with you about the EU never been put through the democratic process in the UK. In Ireland, we have referendums. In the UK, you have parliament. It’s true, you have never voted on the EU. But you didn”t vote on NATO or scrapping trident or war in Iraq or decimalisation or massive privatisation of the public sector or bailing out the banks or staying in Northern Ireland either, all issues which are surely as relevent to the British people. The point is, that is for the British to decide. You can’t keep blaming Europe for the failings of your political system. Bring in PR, so at least the people who vote UKIP are respresented in parliament. But don’t blame us.


 

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