Theresa May came under renewed pressure to stand down this weekend, with new analysis suggesting the Conservative Party are on course to lose almost 60 seats in the event of a general election. A six-month flexible delay to Brexit was agreed last week, meaning Britain must take part in the European elections on May 23. This could be averted if the Conservatives could agree a compromise with Labour that would see a withdrawal agreement backed in the House of Commons.
However, sources close to Mrs May suggested the talks between Labour and the Government are unlikely to advance much further in the coming week, unless the Prime Minister moves on her red lines over a future customs union.
As a precise form of Brexit is still being wrangled over in Westminster more than two years after Britain voted to leave, a newly-resurfaced book by veteran left-winger Tony Benn, explains how all European countries went through “a massive change in their democratic systems”.
In 2009 book “Letters To My Grandchildren”, Mr Benn – a towering figure in British politics and one of the most prominent eurosceptics in the Labour Party – wrote: “The first basic right in a democracy must be the right of people to elect those who make their laws and the right to remove them.
“It is the only guarantee that those who make the laws will listen to those who have to obey them.
“Through membership of the European Union all member countries have lost that right.
“It has been calculated that a majority of laws enforced throughout the EU come from the Council of Minsters and not parliaments of those member states.
“A massive change has occurred in the democratic systems of Europe and has passed almost unnoticed because the founders did not want to emphasise it in case it led to a rejection of the Union.”
Mr Benn went on to describe how the EU’s structure is “complex and undemocratic”.
He said: “The commissioners are the key players in Brussels.
“They are an imperial bureaucratic elite who are not elected, cannot be removed save by an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament and therefore do not have to listen to the people over whom they exercise such power.
“The Council of Ministers – comprising of politicians from each of the EU countries – theoretically makes the laws under which the people of Europe are governed, but this lawmaking is done very largely in secret.
“The third element – the European Parliament – is largely a toothless group of people elected by a tiny proportion of the electorates (turnout in the 2009 elections in this country was 34 percent) of member states.
“It has been the objective of the Commission in its Brussels HQ to build a United States of Europe, without ever declaring that to be its aim.”
The Labour politician concluded that in the most recent developments, “the sovereignty of people, which is at the heart of democracy, has been subtly replaced by the sovereignty of parliaments who transfer the powers they have been lent by the people to those who are not responsible to the people, that is to say the Commission”.
Mr Benn campaigned for Britain to leave the bloc for most of his political career.
He died in March 2014, two years before Britons historically voted to leave the EU.
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