This went up on the German site FAZ.net on 10th June [German language]. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/ttip-und-freihandel/bundestag-darf-bei-freihandelsabkommen-ceta-nicht-mitreden-14279991.html
Everyone involved in the EU Referendum debate should read it.
This is my translation, using the power of ‘O’ Level German and Google Translate. It looks absolutely crucial to the Remain argument about the ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’, or ‘TTIP’ for short.
This is what it says…
“The European Commission is on a collision course with the EU member states over the highly controversial free trade agreements with the United States and Canada. The EU authority wants the agreement with Canada — CETA — to not be described as a “mixed agreement”, but as a pure EU agreement. Neither the Bundestag and Bundesrat nor the parliaments of the other 27 EU member states should therefore have a say in its ratification. The reports in the Saturday edition of the FAZ cite sources close to the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. The Commission intends to submit a proposal in early July.
The participation of national parliaments in the ratification of the agreement with the United States TTIP and the “little sister” CETA is one of the central issues in the public debate.
Recently, in mid-May, the trade ministers of the Member States had clearly stated after a meeting in Brussels that the entry into force of both agreements required the consent of all national parliaments. From the perspective of the Ministers, CETA is clearly a “mixed agreement”, said the chairman of the Council of Ministers, Dutch Trade Minister Lilianne Ploume , after the meeting. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who did not attend the meeting has repeatedly emphasized that CETA like TTIP is a mixed agreement that would have to be ratified by the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
Member States could in the end enforce a mixed status against the will of the European Commission. This should however have to be done unanimously. It was previously unlikely in Brussels that the Commission would get involved in this trial of strength in order not to stir up the already heated debate about CETA and TTIP.”
In other words, the European Commission is doing what the EU always does: trying to draw power to itself, reduce the power of member states by striking down their national vetoes, and all in the sphere of international trade.
And as is often the case in the EU, such initiatives that involve “more Europe” and “less nation” have a habit of gaining momentum and, before you know it, they’ve become the new normal and you’re stuck with them.
But this is dynamite for the beleaguered Remain campaign in general and for Jeremy Corbyn in particular, who has pledged to veto TTIP from inside the EU.
Whether or not it ever gets to that — TTIP itself may never actually come to fruition due to its many problems — the direction of EU travel is once again starkly clear.
The EU will take on more and more power and develop itself into a superstate that eventually controls Britain’s every interaction with the outside world.
A bit like prison warders controlling outside visits for the Lifers in their charge.
I’ve already suggested that the EU is starting to resemble a prison. This has just taken that suggestion and the TTIP issue to a whole new level.