The United Kingdom is promised a referendum on any further handing over of powers to the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty requires that should a member state wish to renegotiate its relationship with the European Union it must leave first and give two years' notice of that intention. (Not unreasonably; first you leave and then you apply to rejoin on fresh terms. There is a clear procedure for application for membership and there is no such procedure, or body that can accept on behalf of all member states any renegotiated terms of membership.)
According to Der Spiegel Mario Draghi, José Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Jean-Claude
Juncker are preparing a fully-fledged euro area fiscal union. This would
deny its members the right to take on new debt independently; a member state government would be able to dispose independently of only self-generated
revenues. Any additional debt-funded expenditures would be financed by Eurobonds issued on the agreement of Euro finance ministers Joint liability would be for newly
issued debt after the introduction of the
fiscal union. The plans envisage a full time chairman of the euro finance ministers who could eventually become the euro
area finance minister. National parliaments would be represented on a new body controlling the finance ministers.
The United Kingdom is already outside the loop of the recasting of the European Union. Changes of the order proposed above will certainly involve the ceding of powers by all member states whether inside or outside the eurozone; indeed relations with states such as Norway, who are not member states of the EU, will be affected.
If the Coalition Government is to meet its undertakings to the UK electorate it needs to give notice now that it intends to leave, and renegotiate its relationship with the European Union, or it will find it has been issued with a fait accompli.
If preferred, an English version of all this has now been published by Der Spiegel with a bit more padding, and joining-up of other proposals that have been mooted by Monti (among others).
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