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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European Council usurps powers of governments

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Bruges Group says Council has broken EU rules

Dr Helen Szamuely

European Council usurps powers of governments

No need for Constitution – European Union has this weekend abandoned its inter-governmental and treaty obligations.

The Bruges Group has today pointed out that the European Council has, in effect carried out a coup d’état in the European Union by usurping the powers of the member states’ governments.

In its conclusions and attached documents, the European Council has issued a mandate to the Inter-Governmental Conference, something it has no right to do.

New treaties in the European Union have to be negotiated by the member states’ governments and their representatives not by the European Council, which is an institution of the European Union.

By issuing its mandate and trying to instruct the IGC the European Council is saying that the member states no longer have the right to decide what will be in the coming treaty.

Not only this is undemocratic, unconstitutional and unaccountable, it breaks the EU’s own rules. The European Council as arrogated itself the right to make its own constitution and its own treaties. It has, without any discussion or voting, turned the European Union from an organization of member states into a single unit, something that the Constitution was supposed to achieve.

Who needs a Constitution if the European Council can effect such a huge change in the political structure without any mandate, without any agreement from national parliaments and, certainly, without any referendums?

Gordon Brown must repudiate Tony Blair’s participation in the European Council’s coup d’êtat. This must be his first act as Prime Minister when he takes up his position next week.