Saturday

27th May 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.”

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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”.

MEPs vote to start democracy probe on Hungary

The European Parliament took the first step towards launching the Article 7 procedure against Hungary for backsliding on democracy. The process might lead to sanctions, but Orban is not backing down.

MEPs preparing to crack down on Orban

The EU assembly's largest group is split by its "enfant terrible", but enough MEPs are likely to abstain or vote Yes on the "Article 7" crackdown over Orban's illiberal rule.

Schulz fails to beat Merkel in German home state

Former EU parliament leader, Martin Schulz, says the defeat of his social-democrats in North Rhine-Westphalia is "difficult". The elections showed that a "Schulz effect" does not (yet) exist.

Austria heading for snap elections

Foreign minister Kurz has taken leadership of the conservative party in what could lead to an alliance with the far-right.

News in Brief

  1. Malloch will not be US ambassador to the EU
  2. 'Significant' drop in EU migration to UK
  3. Bomb injures former Greek PM
  4. British PM to speak out on US terrorism leaks
  5. Tusk calls for 'values, not just interests' after Trump meeting
  6. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  7. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  8. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms