Nigel Farage claimed yesterday that the European Union is facing a ‘huge existential crisis’ but the truth is that as he spoke, it was a different union, the United Kingdom, that appeared to be at ever greater risk of a colossal collapse under the weight of Brexit, in spite of the fact that negotiations are yet to begin and Brexit itself is still at least two years off. Continue reading “The perfect storm is brewing”
At the Sixth Federalist Convention held in Brussels on December 3 2016, delegates from the European Federalist Party, of which the Federalist Party of the United Kingdom has been a constituent part since 2011, agreed to a merger with two other organisations creating a new organisation which is called ‘Stand Up for Europe’. To this end, a single set of bylaws and a policy programme was agreed and adopted, establishing a new internal organisation under which City Teams are to be established and developed in localities around Europe as the main focus of our political strategy.
On Saturday 25 February 2017 the Board of the Federalist Party met in London to discuss this development and consider the future of our party within the new European structure. Whilst we welcome the fresh approach and new relationship that Stand Up for Europe introduces, and recognise that it can and does work successfully under the appropriate conditions, it was thought that, considering the United Kingdom’s political system, the existing approach of a UK-wide political party, coordinated at the national level, would be more effective.
Therefore, the Board agreed that the Federalist Party of the United Kingdom should continue to pursue its existing organisational and political strategy within the UK. The Federalist Party will adopt a greater focus on the promotion of federalism, not just at the European level, but more importantly within the United Kingdom and worldwide. We believe that federalism offers the prospect of a political reform in Britain that can repair and restore faith in our political system, and reconnect institutions of public governance with the British people.
Whilst the Federalist Party will continue separately, local chapters of Stand Up for Europe will also be established around the UK, starting in London, and will retain the organisation’s existing membership and associated resources. The two organisations are committed to work together and collaborate on common ground.
When the Supreme Court published its ruling on the Article 50 case, it was one of the most significant developments in the UK’s recent constitutional history. The sovereignty of parliament was upheld, and Britain’s established model of representative democracy was reaffirmed, placing a clear constitutional limit on the executive power of the Prime Minister and the government. The case, which was brought originally by Gina Miller to the High Court who had argued that the Primer Minister could not use executive powers to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in order to begin the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, also upheld another established point of Britain’s constitutional framework. The judges of the Supreme Court found, unanimously, that the devolved parliaments and assemblies in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland do not have to be consulted and therefore do not have the power to veto decisions taken by the UK parliament at Westminster, even when those decisions ordinarily would require consultation of devolved legislatures by Westminster. Continue reading “Devolution: a flawed process exposed by the Supreme Court”
On June the 23rd 2016 the government of David Cameron finally fulfilled a pledge to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union which he had arguably been gradually cornered into by the eurosceptic quarter of his Conservative party and the threatening rise of UKIP. The validity and applicability of the result of that referendum has been, and will continue to be argued back and forth for some time. As the result became clear it was hailed as an overwhelming victory for the Leave campaign, mandating the British government to begin the process of withdrawal from the EU. This appeared to be validated by Cameron when he stood on Downing St the following morning and announced his resignation as Prime Minister, effectively conceding a total defeat. Whoever was to take over the leadership of the Conservatives, and by default become PM, would have the heavy responsibility of implementing the Brexit mandate, the ‘will of the people’ as it has been so frequently lauded. And that is just the role that Theresa May has taken up. But the truth is that the only overwhelming feature of the result was its unexpected nature. Most pollsters and political commentators, even politicians, indeed even on the night of the 23rd, Nigel Farage himself, had expected a victory for Remain. But Leave’s win, surprising and shocking though indeed it was, was in fact only by a very narrow margin. The referendum revealed a nation divided, and not at all some kind of all-empowering mandate for an absolute reversal in the country’s relationship with Europe and the world. Continue reading “On Brexit and the future for federalism in the UK”
Dear friends, UK citizens (yes, that includes you Scotland), and EU nationals living in UK (you’re our friends too!) It’s really not over yet. It’s one thing to say we would like the government to leave the EU but it’s another thing to actually do it.
Yes, we’re talking about Article 50. Remember the Greek referendum? Yes, the Greeks clearly said they did not want to accept the bailout terms that were on offer. But when faced with the reality of actually carrying out those wishes, the Greek government who had actually been pushing for that result found they couldn’t. In the case of the UK referendum there now seems to be a real case of surprise at the result and a real fear that the potential for catastrophe is too great to actually leave. It’s also the case that the leader who said he would immediately enact Article 50 has now resigned, and he is not going to do it himself. So whoever is the next Prime Minister is not bound by the result if he or she thinks it’s not in the country’s best interest to do so. All is still to play for.
Federalism is still and has always been an alternative option for both UK and the EU.
And it’s suddenly looking a whole lot more appealing.
Leader of the Federalist Party of the United Kingdom