Tory Supporters Betrayed again as Cameron Announces Support for Increased EU Powers
Tory voters have been stabbed in the back once again with the announcement by David Cameron that his government will support a new round of European Treaty changes that will see expanded control over EU members’ national budgets.
Mr Cameron campaigned during the past election on an undertaking that he would “roll back” EU powers after admitting that he would not hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty after all.
The new policy, the latest of a series of 180-degree turns by the Tory leadership on major election promises, was announced by Mr Cameron in the House of Commons in a discussion on EU moves to amend the Lisbon Treaty once again to extend its powers to intervene in member states’ economies following the Greek debt disaster.
“A strong and successful eurozone is vital for the British national interest,” Mr Cameron said in parliament, adding that as far as what he called EU “budget surveillance” went, he undertook that the “UK Budget will be shown to this House first and not to the Commission.”
What Mr Cameron omitted to point out is that it does not matter if Westminster “sees” the budget first or not, because the EU will still have the power to amend our nation’s budget as it sees fit.
This was confirmed last week by Catherine Day, secretary general of the European Commission, who said that the Lisbon Treaty had created “new balance of power.”
Speaking at a press conference, Ms Day said that the European Parliament now had significant new powers "which it clearly intends to use.
"There is a new balance of power and this may send some shockwaves in the council but it is important to pick up on this new mood.
"This is a much more assertive parliament and the institution will use its new powers in a number of ways."
The need to change the Lisbon Treaty once again was spelled out in detail by Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.
Speaking in a Financial Times interview, Mr Van Rompuy said that “European Union leaders should not rule out changing the EU’s governing treaty as a way of driving forward economic integration and emerging from the present crisis.”
The European Central Bank has also asked EU finance ministers to consider changing the Lisbon Treaty in order to strengthen the European Commission's hand in punishing countries for falling out of line with the bloc's debt targets.
At their 17 June summit, EU leaders agreed to greater surveillance and coordination of national budgets following the Greek sovereign debt crisis.
A deal on sanctions for countries in a weak financial position will not be finalised until a high-level task force, led by Mr Van Rompuy, reports in October.
Amongst other things, the Van Rompuy task force will look at whether withholding EU funds might be an option for punishing errant governments.
Meanwhile, they can all rest assured that Mr Cameron will back all of these moves, despite whatever his election promises may have been.