The Renegotiation Terms
Cameron reached a deal on 19 February 2016 at the European summit which he claimed
to amount to a major renegotiation of the terms of the UK's membership
of the EU. This "deal" marked the start of the referendum campaign.
The claim that this changed the terms of Britain's EU membership
unravelled during the course of the campaign. Lord Howard of Lympne QC,
among others, rightly branded this attempt at renegotiation as having
"ended in failure".
This farcical "renegotiation" according to its terms would only have
come into effect if the British people had voted to stay in the
European Union, and is therefore now legally a dead letter. It is still
worth examining as an exercise in spin and
legal obfuscation which is sadly only too typical of the unsuccessful,
but dangerous at the time, efforts made to mislead the British people
into voting "Remain".
We explain the legal form of the summit deal, and why it would not have been binding on the European Court. We also assess the terms on "Ever Closer Union".
Contrary to all the spin, this phrase will remain in the
Treaty Article and preambles where it now sits, and the detailed terms
of the deal
will make no difference to the legal position of the United Kingdom.
And finally, we demolish the claims that it would have resolved the
UK's problems in financial services in the face of Conflict with the Eurozone.