Yesterday was St Georges Day and I spent part of it reminding myself exactly how proud I am to be British - and, in preparation for the upcoming elections, in reminding myself just how much I dislike parts of the Lisbon Treaty and why I have campaigned for a referendum.
I'm not a lawyer - but unlike the Labour minister for Europe at least I have spent time reading the treaty.
My own copy kept my printer busy for ages - why should residents have to pay E40 if they want to order a copy of the treaty that could have such an huge impact on their lives. As I read I found myself scribbling huge "NO"s beside certain sections.
Clause 27 - on a common Foreign Policy "the Union shall conduct, define and implement a common foreign and security policy" NO - Why should the UK become subserviant to a common foreign policy - we have the UN (ok its often not perfect) but this also seems huge extra bureaucracy to me.
Clause 49 - On an EU Army - "Member states shall make civilian and military capabilities available to the Union for the implementation of the common security and defense policy" NO - we already have NATO, our British Troops are already hugely overstretched and other EU countries haven't exactly rushed in to help them in Afghanistan. Again this seems completely unnecessary.
Clause 4 - "The Union shall establish and economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro"..... That got a big NO from me too.
I could go on....
We were promised a referendum. The Conservative Party does not want these new rules and is committed to rejecting them either by offering the British People referendum (if that is still legally possibly by the time a general election occurs)... or if it has already been turned into law by re-opening negotiations. We can not let this rest here.