Brussels jam

Boris Johnson (picture Jerry Daykin)

A nonsensical article by Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph last week (you can read it here).

He argues that Qualified Majority Voting in the EU should be unravelled, and that the Reform Treaty should therefore be rejected. But that argument does not add up.

The Qualified Majority Voting from which he proposes to protect Britain’s jam-makers is a consequence of the Single European Act and not the proposed new Reform Treaty. It is already in force and would remain in force even if the new treaty were to be rejected.

To remove jam-making from the scope of QMV would require either unanimous agreement among the 27 member states to reintroduce a national veto into the treaties for this purpose or for Britain to leave the European single market altogether.

What Boris Johnson should do, in his next column, is to name those member states that agree with his proposal to extend the national veto. Failing that, he should confirm that he thinks that Britain should withdraw from the single market. If he can’t do either of those, everyone can conclude that he is making a promise he is not willing to keep. That is not what the country expects from its politicians (although maybe we’ve grown used to it from the Eurosceptics).

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