Thursday

9th Apr 2020

Eurosceptic MEPs group together against Constitution

A group of eurosceptic MEPs have launched an alliance against the European Constitution – just three days before the document is due to be signed by EU leaders.

Called 'The Referendum Group', it crosses the political spectrum in the European Parliament and is expected to comprise up to 100 MEPs.

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  • Ask European citizens, say MEPs (Photo: European Commission)

Unveiling the alliance on Tuesday in Strasbourg (26 October), UK Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan said one of their main wishes is for a referendum on the Constitution in every country – currently just under half of the 25 member states have promised to have a referendum.

Mr Hannan also called for governments to abide by the verdict saying that if there are yes votes "we will abide by that outcome. But we are concerned that there is no equivalent readiness on the other side to respect the people’s verdict".

The fact that parts of the Constitution are already being put into place was also criticised by the MEP, who added that 19 of the 25 Commissioners starting in November have indicated they do not intend to wait for a formal implementation of the new Treaty.

Finnish Left MEP Esko Seppänen, who is also one of the three presidents of the Group, said his main reason for being against the Constitution was because "it means militarisation of the EU".

Echoing this, Swedish Green MEP Carl Schlyter said, "we were promised that this was a peace project" - referring to the fact that a core group of member states can move forward in defence if they wish.

However, it was less clear what concrete actions would be taken by the group.

According to Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, one of the co-founders of the alliance, the Referendum Group will meet once a week and will prepare a "minority report" to be attached to the main report of the European Parliament when it gives its verdict on the Constitution in December.

MEPs in the alliance will also, if asked, travel to member states to explain the Constitution to citizens.

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