Cameron and the EU

As Cameron prepares for a final meeting of his EU negotiations, the internet abounds with information on this topic – the challenge for students will be sorting what is relevant to their course from what is mere political gossip. The articles above are crucial for this.

Firstly, regarding sovereignty: As leader of the Coalition, Cameron passed the EU Act 2011 guaranteeing a referendum if further power were devolved to the EU from the UK (although, good students should comment that as no Parliament is binding on any other there is little obligation to follow through on this law!). As the negotiations about Britain’s role within the EU, the question of sovereignty remains key and the first article above looks in more depth at this. Importantly, Britain cannot say that British law supersedes EU law – the BBC comments that doing so would essentially mean Britain had to leave Europe, but it is also not the principle that was established in the Factortame case of 1990.

Secondly, the referendum: The article reviews comments from the Government that the referendum will be legally binding. This should raise the eyebrows of a good politics student. The government may choose to make the referendum legally binding, and would look very silly therefore not following through on this, but ultimately Parliament is sovereign and therefore laws can be made to suit the government of the day. It is hugely unlikely they would do this, but the fact they are using this rhetoric is more about the mass appeal that it has rather than any actual change this effects in British politics. That said, you could argue that the government saying this makes them more likely to be held accountable if they don’t do it, and therefore makes the referendum more democratic.

There will not be mass posts about the EU on here – there is simply too much out there. The task for students then is to identify key points or turning points in this debate – those, you should find on here as and when they happen!

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