Thursday

13th Aug 2020

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.”

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

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

What's behind the sudden political unrest in Bulgaria?

Demonstrators are demanding prime minister Boyko Borissov and chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev resign, following a raid on the president's office. President Rumen Radev has been a vocal critic of the government and its record on graft.

News in Brief

  1. Amazon people urge EU banks to stop funding pollution
  2. Russia vaccine could be "dangerous", Germany says
  3. EU to finance new Covid-19 research projects
  4. Croatia receives EU earthquake relief funds
  5. Facemasks required throughout Brussels
  6. EU opposes Mexico's transparent junk food labels
  7. Greece accuses Turkey of 'escalation' in maritime dispute
  8. Slovakia expels three Russians linked to Berlin murder

Opinion

On toppling statues

The internationally-acclaimed author of King Leopold's Ghost, Adam Hochschild, writes on Belgium's problems with statues, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Belarus violence goes on, as EU ministers scramble
  2. French navy to deter Turkey's oil and gas grab
  3. EU ministers urged to talk Belarus, Turkey sanctions
  4. Drums of war again, in Europe
  5. EU looks on as Belarus protests turn lethal
  6. EU virus-alert agency says new restrictions needed
  7. Minsk violence prompts talk of EU sanctions
  8. Schrems privacy ruling risks EU's ties to digital world

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us