GMB European Committee endorse ETUC position “No Charter of Fundamental Rights – no EU Treaty”
There was a meeting today of the GMB European Committee which discussed the agreement reached by the EU Council of Ministers over the weekend 22/23 June 2007 in Brussels on a new draft of the EU Reform Treaty on the Constitution. Following the meeting Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said,
“It is now clear that the legal work to give effect to the agreement reached at the end of June 2007 on the EU Reform Treaty on the Constitution will begin right away with the target of getting the new draft agreed by the Council of Ministers in December 2007. The plan is for each nation state to ratify the agreement during 2008 and for the new Reform Treaty on the Constitution to come into effect on 1st January 2009. There will be a referendum in Ireland. Bertie Ahern, the Irish Taoiseach, has conceded that 90% of the content of the previous Constitution is included in the new Reform Treaty on the Constitution.
The Labour Party General Election manifesto pledged that the UK electorate would be given the final say, in a referendum, on the ratification of the Constitution. The Labour Party should honour its pledge and hold a referendum in 2008 on the ratification of this new Reform Treaty on the Constitution. The pledge was right at the time of the election and it is right now. Europe can only be developed with the whole hearted support of its citizens. GMB is a strong and a firm advocate of the benefits that a Social Europe brings to the people of the UK, while guarding against proposals that would undermine the hard won rights of UK workers. A Reform Treaty on the Constitution without the Charter of Fundamental Rights is for a business Europe and GMB did not sign up for this. This position was reaffirmed today by the GMB European Committee.”