Richard North, 26/04/2004  

Owen Paterson is Conservative MP for North Shropshire.

If anyone is able to provide press releases from other constituency MPs, we would be pleased to publish them.

Speaking near Ellesmere, Owen Paterson said that the proposed EU constitution , if ratified and imposed on the British people, would irrevocably change the way in which we are governed.

"The draft EU constitutional Treaty quite simply gives the EU almost complete power over the member states. Take the following articles: "The Constitution and law adopted by the Union's institutions in exercising competences conferred on it, shall have primacy over the law of the member states" (1-10). "The member states shall exercise their competence to the extent that the Union has not exercised, or has decided to cease exercising, its competence"(1-11). "The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies"(1-53). This is devastating evidence of what this nation would be surrendering to Europe. Effectively we will be given a European President, a European Foreign Minister and a Department of European Justice. Laws covering most of our national life will be passed by Qualified Majority Vote in the Council of Ministers, where we only have 14% of the votes.

The Government's "red lines" are meaningless, as so many areas of Government responsibility would be decided by European Government. The vast majority of our laws would be created by civil servants meeting in secret and our voting powers under QMV will be further reduced. This will undermine our democratic way of life.

It is the most basic right of the British people to elect MPs who pass their own laws, to expect the courts to uphold those laws and for the people to be able to remove their rulers by voting. Under the EU constitution, there will be no democratic mechanism for the voters in Shropshire to get rid of the real rulers who impose bad laws upon them. As Michael Howard told Tony Blair this week" Countries have institutions. We do not want to be part of a country called Europe."

I urge all my constituents of all parties to campaign for a no vote to protect their ancient freedom to remove their rulers by voting."

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