The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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EU Constitution

Exposing the EU Constitution

The EU Constitution will significantly alter the European Union. If adopted, it will move the EU even further away from our vision of a free trading, decentralised, deregulated and democratic Europe of nation-states.

It will:

  • Compound the EU's economic dislocation by encoding in law the social-market economic model responsible for the continent's low growth and high unemployment. Article 14 will allow the EU to standardise the employment and social policies of member states. Article 7 incorporates into EU law the Charter of Fundamental Rights (PDF). This will add new burdens onto British business.
  • Ensure that National Parliaments lose significant powers to the EU institutions. The right of member states to stop damaging EU legislation will end, as Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) will be extended into 40 new areas. The Constitution may even allow for the national veto to be entirely abolished. In particular, Article 24.4 (the passerelle clause) and Article 17 (the flexibility clause) will allow the European Council to extend QMV and the EU's powers.
  • Expand the Union's powers into Justice and Home Affairs. Article 158 gives the EU power over external border controls and internal security. Article 170 allows the EU with powers to standardise civil law. Articles 171 - 175 allow for the standardisation of criminal laws and procedure. 176 - 178 will give the EU powers to co-ordinate policing.
  • Develop a common EU foreign and Security Policy. Article 27 will create an EU Minister for Foreign Affairs who "shall conduct the Union's common foreign and security policy".
  • Make the EU institutions the UK's real government. Article 10 gives primacy to EU law. Articles 11, 12 & 13 will give the EU the right to forbid member states from making laws in almost all areas, handing instead even more power to the remote, unaccountable and undemocratic EU institutions.

The battle to incorporate Britain into a greatly centralised European Union has begun.

Download our quick guide leaflet
The EU Constitution: A threat to jobs and democracy [PDF]