Europe must rediscover 'its own identity, its own unity', says Pope Francis

To an extent, it played into the propaganda (the myth of Turkey joining the EU and millions more Muslims turning up) but immigration is two issues in the UK - EU and non-EU.

Neither of these have been dealt with competently by the UK Government and blaming the EU for immigration is a handy tactic - except that non-EU immigration is entirely a UK issue (most of our Muslims - considered very naughty by many Leave voters - are from India/Pakistan, by the way).

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Just to muddy the waters further:
I live in the West of Scotland, an area where politics and sectarianism are inextricably linked. So you have one subset of the population that are ‘HardBrexiteer’ - with a ‘no deal is the best deal’ mantra. A wee bit of digging and you find all sorts of links to The Orange Order and various Ultra Right Wing organisations. They are Anti - Scottish Nationalist, Hard Line Unionist, Anti Immigration (see Kaninchen’s post above for the absurdity of this part) and at least in this part of the world (and Northern Ireland) Anti Catholic.
On the other hand you have a subset who are opposed to The Orange Order. So they are then Pro Scottish Nationalist, and Remainers.
Subset B are also (through conflating the Irish right to self determination and the Palestinian issue) Pro Palestinian and therefore anti Israeli, which has sometimes manifested itself in blatant Antisemitism. So Subset A have decided that they are Pro Israeli and anti Palestinian, which has also manifested itself in blatant Islamophobia.
This does not describe the whole political life here but it colours the outlook of a significant amount of people. So while the likes of Vouthon can give a balanced argument for Remaining and some like Costas Lapavitsas argue for leaving from Left Wing perspective. I quote: The European left’s “attachment to the EU as an inherently progressive development prevents it from being radical, and indeed integrates it into the neoliberal structures of European capitalism”, Lapavitsas says. “The left has become increasingly cut off from its historic constituency, the workers and the poor of Europe, who have naturally sought a voice elsewhere.” Sook on that particular ice lolly Ridgerunner! It is clear that the EU question in this neck of the woods is a convoluted mess. To make it even more interesting for our American friends. The two tribes described above carry all this out by supporting two football (soccer) teams…and people ask why I take a drink!


It’s also useful to remember that Britain was at one point the strongest advocate of Turkey joining the EU.

And the strongest advocate of the EU expanding to incorporate the formerly communist eastern members.

Thanks for the compliment. You probably haven’t noticed that I have asked a lot of questions here. Sometimes the responses aren’t very responsive. There is no reason, as near as I can tell, to think the EU cannot legislate in just about any area other than (we’re told) their justice system and a handful of other things. If you’re sure the EU parliament can’t legislate concerning abortion or homosexual rights, show me why I should think that. Don’t just be derisive.

Again, you evidence a misunderstanding of the constitutional limits to the EU’s legislative competence.

Article 5 of the Treaty on the EU stipulates that “Under the principle of subsidiarity, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, either at central level or at regional and local level , but can rather, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved at Union level.”

I have done this…ad nauseam. Yet you keep repeating this error:

During a recent debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament, the European Commission confirmed that the EU has no competence in the areas of abortion and sex education, and that it cannot interfere with the policies adopted by Member States on these issues…

In a debate this month, the European Commission reaffirmed the position adopted by the European Parliament, namely that the issue of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights was the sole responsibility of Member States and that "there exists no right to abortion under international law”.

Article 168 § 7of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU states that the ‘‘Union action shall respect the responsibilities of the Member States for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care. The responsibilities of the Member States shall include the management of health services and medical care and the allocation of the resources assigned to them.’’

I already noted earlier in this thread, these are not issues that the EU may legislate on.

Abortion is clearly a matter of national competence and it is not a right defined within the context of Union law. Thus, it falls within the margin of appreciation of the Member States and it should be concluded that the EU has no competence in this area either under the previous Treaty provisions or the current amendments introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.

As for gay marriage specifically, the drafters of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights shared the same view. In the Explanations Relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the article providing the right to marry (Article 9) “ neither prohibits nor imposes the granting of the status of marriage to unions between people of the same sex”.

There is no debate about this, it’s crystal clear legally.

Please give this a rest @Ridgerunner

I’m sorry to post and run, @Ridgerunner, but this is a reference/ruling as to why the EU cannot legislate same sex marriage in its member states.

58 In this context, the Court has held that marital status and the benefits flowing therefrom are matters which fall within the competence of the Member States and that EU law does not detract from that competence. However, in the exercise of that competence the Member States must comply with EU law, in particular the provisions relating to the principle of non-discrimination (see judgment of 1 April 2008, Maruko , C‑267/06, EU:C:2008:179, paragraph 59).

59 The Member States are thus free to provide or not provide for marriage for persons of the same sex, or an alternative form of legal recognition of their relationship, and, if they do so provide, to lay down the date from which such a marriage or alternative form is to have effect.

Paragraphs 58 and 59 in the above link. I’m not had chance to read all of it yet, I’m sorry for that. But above is the specific mention.

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Wasn’t for lack of wanting to do it. From your article:

"The debate comes shortly after a controversial resolution on “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” was rejected by the European Parliament in December.

As well as seeking to establish a right to abortion, the resolution went further in attacking the right to conscientious objection and the rights of parents, and called on the European Union to fund abortion in its Foreign and Development Aid Policy. "

Your European parliament can do what it wants to do. Just because it rejected legislating on abortion lately doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t.

Doesn’t mean they never can.

If the EU can dictate to Poland how many hostile aliens Poland has to take in, it can dictate anything it wants to dictate.

The Commission explicitly clarified that it cannot legislate on abortion, as per long established EU law, because family law, healthcare and sexual health like outsidevthe remit of European law and are member state only competences.

The Parliament can only pass non-binding resolutions in areas outside it’s scope - not actual law with direct applicability and force.

Your completely wrong. Not even a bit, completely.

Why aren’t you even reading the statements that @Lou2U and myself have been quoting from actual legal precedents?


Poland willingly joined the Schengen Area. And it really is clear you won’t accept explanations or put anything in to context . Your claims are fundementally disingenuous.

Europe isn’t some sort of proxy for what really is an American culture war. You’ve been shown abortion is not an area of EU competence.

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But marks for persevering.

I don’t consider this preservence. RR is in error, it’s that simple. The EU is some sort of American conservative bogeyman.

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And yet he still claims it is, despite the incontestable evidence we’ve provided to the contrary, just “because”.

I thought if we gave RR a bonus mark it might be persuasive of shutting up on this point.

I’m afraid I can’t give a mark for perseverance if the person is peristently refusing to read the plain meaning of unambiguous evidence and insist on his own entirely conjectural, and demonstrably wrong, contention.

There is perseverance and then there is denialism. This is flat-out denial of a legal reality.

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One shouldn’t forget that there’s also appeal to the ECHR which, on abortion, for example (Vo v France) determined that it was a matter for individual States.

True but I prefer to avoid mentioning the ECHR around Americans because it’s not an EU institution or court even though they always think it is part of the EU.

I don’t understand why people are bothering with a clearly vexatious poster. Ultra-right American conservatives don’t really matter in EU discussions.

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