For her willingness honourably to oppose her party’s dishonourable policy of denying the British people that which was promised – a referendum on the EU Constitution – Gisela Stuart, Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, and herself a member of the convention which drew the treaty up, occupies an honoured niche in The Huntsman’s Pantheon. Now she has struck another blow.

Mrs. Stuart, whose honourable position will, with sad irony, probably not save her from losing her seat in the event of the Conservatives winning the next election well enough to form a government with a majority over all other parties, has, in an interview with the Guardian, placed her finger on one of the main weaknesses of the Treaty of Lisbon which, she carefully reminds us, is the same “in substance” as the Constitution rejected so firmly by the peoples of France and The Netherlands in 2005. This is that the Treaty lacks legitimacy.

Although she uses a fairly convoluted example with which to make her point, she is surely right to pursue this line. For, if the Treaty is indeed ratified without the whole-hearted consent of the British people by way of a referendum, indeed without any of the EU’s 450 million people, save Ireland’s six million, being given a say on it, then it will indeed lack a smidgen of democratic legitimacy.

That absence of legitimacy will be particularly acute in France and The Netherlands whose people overwhelmingly rejected what is essentially the same document in their referenda and will undermine completely any claim to legitimacy which may be made for the document by the power-acquisitive clique which now aspires to run the EU. And here in the United Kingdom the absence of legitimacy in any law, any act of the European Union, must be a weapon we wield in subverting the power of those who have made off with our freedom.

She makes three important points

  • That the EU is now to be equipped with a “toolbox” of powers that would allow it to “interfere in virtually every aspect of our lives”. As she puts it: “There is no longer a question of saying, there are certain things that the Union can’t touch. Actually the Union can touch everything.”

  • That once power over some area of policy has been seized by the EU the UK can never, under present circumstances get it back: “there is nothing where the EU doesn’t have means – whether it’s court judgments; whether it’s internal market; free movement of labour – the way it makes laws. In every way it now has means, and once it has taken away a UK competence, there is no way you can ever go back.”

  • That the promise of the Prime Minister not to cede any more power to the Union when he said in effect ‘no more extension of qualified majority voting or any further powers unless this house agrees to it’ is an empty one because, she says, “the only area where that could happen is in defence and foreign policy, because everything else already has gone to QMV”. Indeed some might say our control of our Foreign policy is distinctly threatened by the treaty and the Union already has its beady acquisitive eye on a Euro Army.

Mrs. Stuart has some useful ideas for how to restore some power to our Parliament but sadly those miss the point entirely, not least because they are essentially repugnant to the Treaty and would be struck down by the European Court of Justice in a trice. What she should do is grasp the nettle and recognise that the whole EU racket is not merely lacking in democratic legitimacy but is at the core of its rotten black heart a tyranny.

Meanwhile the process of ratification is to be resumed next week with second reading of the European Union (Amendment) Bill which will also occupy much of the week following.

On the current intricacies of the various positions of the three main parties on the Treaty, I commend this article in The Spectator which sets out a floorplan of the ballroom and where each of the strands of opinion therein stands at the beginning of the Treaty Tango.

One final point occurs to me this Saturday before our Parliament debates voting itself to oblivion, at least as far as being the Parliament of a truly independent Sovereign State is concerned, that is: it may have a twilight existence as a glorified parish council in due course. It is that if the Treaty of Lisbon comes into force in the UK, it will at least afford those of us who have warned against it and the opportunities it gives to unelected power-acquisitive foreigners to pass laws that apply in the UK masses of ammunition with which to renew the assault upon it. Though this is a dangerous strategy, it may well be that as the EU over-reaches itself in the pomp of its over-weening ambition that it pays out yards and yards more rope with which we may sooner rather than later hang it.

As the British people are made ever more aware of the impotence of our Parliament and Government to produce solutions appropriate to them (and desired by them) rather than to the goat farmers of Cyprus, because of the extent to which it has handed power over, lock, stock and barrel to the EU, then will come a time of growing disaffection from the European racket.

That will be a moment for the Conservative Party (or if it will not do it, some other party prepared to put our freedom above all other interests) to ride the wave to a fundamental renegotiation of our entire relationship with the EU or, as one of the Spectator’s Tory MP interlocutors put it:

Winning our country back will be the battle of the next decade.’

I would go further: seizing our country back should be the battle for all of us for the next decade.

What our politicians should be aware of is that, if they will not do so, it may fall to the people themselves to take back their Sovereignty which was once entrusted to those politicians and which they have, without our consent, so casually cast away.