On Thursday (18 Sept), Scotland will face a historic decision as millions of Scots decide the United Kingdom’s future after 307 years of Union. This afternoon (Tues – 16 Sept), leader of Britain’s new 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP) Dirk Hazell commented: “Whatever the outcome of Thursday’s vote, Britain now urgently needs a new constitutional settlement more empowering even than the great 1832 Reform Act was then.”
“Cameron lacks strategic thinking. Cameron’s failed tactics bring Britain to the brink of Scottish separation and to leaving the EU. People want a genuine say over their own future: greater control over decisions affecting their lives. In our modern global village, this must be based on stronger local and regional representation”, continued Hazell: “The UKIP militant tendency in the British Conservative Party misrepresents federalism as a fearful ‘F-word’ – but within UKIP itself Nigel Farage is right to call for a federal United Kingdom: even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day!”
“If, unlike the reactionary elitism of Cameron’s self-styled ‘effing Tories’, Farage is prepared to empower people from the bottom up, we are with him on that”, welcomed Hazell: “Obviously, as pro-Europeans we deplore UKIP’s determination to take Britain out of the EU. But we agree Britain must change from within. We must compensate for the demands of a globalised world. Cameron’s arrogant ‘top down’ politics, concentrating so much power and wealth in the hands of the few, must be replaced with real ‘bottom up’ politics: more real decisions in politics must be more localised.”
As the House of Commons prepares for possible recall, British PM David Cameron’s lack of judgment comes under ever closer scrutiny. “Cameron should have listened to Gordon Brown back in June. Cameron misjudged the underlying dynamics of the EU and Scottish referendums, choosing the wrong combination of questions. Scotland’s independence and Britain’s EU membership are closely entwined. We must now study carefully the Scottish campaign, if we are to avoid repeating mistakes during a future EU referendum”, noted Hazell.
“A British Basic Law, similar to Germany’s, would strengthen Britain’s regional identity and protect our sovereignty in the EU”, said Hazell: “Eight hundred years after the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, a new deal is needed to return power to the people: enshrining our rights in a British written constitution based on the principle of subsidiarity. We should urgently update Hansard Society proposals made in 1976, turbo-charging reform of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Strengthening links between the elected and the electorate is ever more essential.”
Outlining 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP) proposals, Hazell presented the following ten suggestions for a federal Britain:-
1. marking the eight hundredth anniversary of the Magna Carta with a written Constitution for the British Federation (embracing all countries plus the English regions that make up the UK).
2. devolving no less power anywhere in the British Federation than will be given to Scotland if it remains part of the UK.
3. creating a new emphasis on ‘bottom up’ - not ‘top down’ - political power, with each country and English region responsible for all policy areas not specifically reserved to the British Federal Parliament and Government. This would resemble the successful Land federal structure in Germany.
4. electing representatives at all levels of government on a territorial basis, with proportionality achieved through top up lists.
5. capping the House of Commons at no more than 500 MPs.
6. limiting a reformed House of Peers to no more than 150 Peers, appointed by the British Federation’s countries and regions.
7. closing the Privy Council and creating a British Federal Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court.
8. mainly state funding political parties with transparent limits.
9. entrenching into the British Constitution the European Convention on Human Rights.
10. creating a new Council of Isles: representatives of the British Federation, its countries and regions, plus all other jurisdictions within the British Isles to be invited to regular, public meetings - building on the current British-Irish Council - to discuss matters of mutual interest and to promote greater co-operation.
“As a refreshing alternative, the pro-European 4 Freedoms Party (UK EPP) gives centre ground, centre-right pro-European people in the UK the chance to return to the heart of Europe, inside the mainstream EPP family. We will begin to repair the damage Cameron created. We believe in bringing people together, not driving them apart, and will strive for a modern constitution putting people first”, concluded Hazell. ENDS