Renegotiation in Europe

Description of Renegotiation

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes renegotiation in the following terms: [1] In 1974, the British Labour Party won power committed to renegotiate the ‘Tory terms’ of membership of the EC. After some trifling concessions, a referendumwas held in 1975 which confirmed British membership, without, however, permanently settling the debate, for the misleading assurances of the ‘Yes’ campaign caused an enduring sense of injustice.

In recent years, certain British politicians have again taken to citing as their aim the renegotiation of one or more unwanted aspects of EU legislation, or even the wholesale renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the Community. Such declarations often skate over real difficulties. Renegotiation of significant Treaty obligations would require unanimity among the member states and would not be possible without the use of the veto to block other EU business in return for concessions to the UK. Across-the-board renegotiation could not be achieved without a credible threat of withdrawal from the Community or a constitutional convention which reshaped the EU’s Treaties and permitted a far greater degree of flexibility than exists today. Thus ‘renegotiation’ has come to be regarded by Europeanists as a code word, masking a wish to leave the EU.


Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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