Friday

24th Nov 2017

UK keen to delete 'ever closer union' from EU treaty

  • "Ever closer union" over, says Cameron (Photo: consilium/europa.eu)

David Cameron wants to remove the commitment to “ever closer union” from the EU treaty, as part of plans to reform Britain's membership of the bloc.

Speaking in a BBC interview Sunday (29 September), on the eve of his Conservative party's annual conference in Manchester, the UK prime minister said that the phrase was “not what the British people want and it's not what I want.”

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Cameron also repeated his threat to withdraw Britain from the European Convention of Human Rights unless his government is allowed to quickly deport foreign nationals deemed to be a security threat.

Having promised to renegotiate Britain's EU terms if his party is elected in 2015, followed by an 'in/out' referendum planned for 2017, Cameron is expected to come under pressure for more details from his party this week.

A majority of Conservative party members favour withdrawal from the EU, according to the ConservativeHome website.

Meanwhile, the eurosceptic lobby group, Business for Britain, said the UK should be able to unilaterally reject EU laws on the grounds that it had become increasingly isolated on issues such as financial services.

“Britain’s declining influence in the EU institutions has seriously undermined our ability to prevent a huge rise in the number and cost of regulations sent from Brussels,” the group said, adding that “Cameron [should push] for a red card system for member states.”

For his part, foreign secretary William Hague told party activists that EU leaders across the continent were also demanding repatriation of powers from Brussels.

“People used to think there was only one destination – a federal Europe – and the only question was whether you got there in the fast lane or slow lane.

“Governments across Europe are talking about power coming back to the countries of Europe. That is something new,” he said.

Earlier this summer, a review of EU law-making by the Dutch government concluded that “the time of ever closer union....is up”. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has also commented that legal provisions should be made to allow countries to leave the eurozone and the Schengen area.

Germany's Angela Merkel is another leader to have indicated disquiet with the extent of EU lawmaking.

“We don't have to do everything in Brussels,” she said, adding that “we can also consider whether we can give something back”.

Analysis

EU 'cannot afford' lengthy German deadlock

Angela Merkel's failure to form a coalition government has raised concerns in Europe that the EU's most powerful country will send the block into paralysis.

Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP

Reinhard Buetikofer, who participated in the failed coalition talks, puts the blame squarely on FDP being 'afraid to govern', but hopes "there will be a lot of phone calls" to German politicians on the consequences of the deadlock in Berlin.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Germany remains 'active' in EU
  2. Work with Israel, Egypt on gas exploration, says Commission
  3. Only seven EU states have 'advanced' stage climate plans
  4. EU dashes integration hopes of eastern countries
  5. EU approves joint Irish electricity scheme
  6. German president to launch 'Grand Coalition' talks
  7. Irish opposition 'threatens national interest', says minister
  8. SPD drops opposition to grand coalition in Germany

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSU-Eurelectric-IndustriAllElectricity European Social Partners Stand up for Just Energy Transition
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaSignature of CEPA Marks a Fresh Start for EU-Armenia Relations
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  4. European Friends of ArmeniaPresident Sargsyan Joined EuFoA Honorary Council Inaugural Meeting
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  6. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  7. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  8. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  9. EPSUStudy Finds TUNED and Employers in Central Governments Most Representative
  10. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  11. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  12. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition