Sunday, 22 May 2016

Minister rubbishes "moon not made of green cheese" claim

Is this the daftest pro-Brexit headline the Telegraph has ever published?
EU referendum: Tory minister rubbishes Cameron's claim that Turkey 'won't ever' be allowed to join the EU
Existing EU member states have a veto over the accession of new member states. That's a verifiable fact, not a claim. A fact you can check by spending about ten seconds on the Internet:
The unanimity principle still exists for Accession Treaties, Treaty amendments, appointments to the Commission, changes to the Community's revenue-raising power and the resolution of certain disputes with the European Parliament.
It's not even just some theoretical power that nobody uses.  Cyprus has used its veto on accessions. Just like Croatia. And Bulgaria. The United Kingdom government could do the same if it wanted to.

And don't start with the "But he said never" thing. Sure, rules can change, but does anybody in their right minds believe that, in a Europe stuffed to bursting with hysterical nationalist politicians, frantically competing to beef up border controls and keep the scary foreigners out, that any government, or alliance of governments, is going to throw away existing accession veto powers?

All sorts of stuff might happen one day in the future. One day in the future, we might all be more concerned with problems like the Dutch refugee crisis that happened around the same time everybody finally realised that rising sea levels were an actual thing, or voting rights for sentient AIs, or the fact that society as we knew it collapsed into dysfunctional heap of bitterness and embarrassment, shortly after everybody started doing their social networking via telepathy-enabled brain chips. But, fortunately, these scenarios aren't happening any time soon and are irrelevant to your vote next month, as is a hypothetical fantasy EU where the member states are about to give away their right to veto accessions.