Yet the UK opted out of the main features of the Maastricht treaty which turned the EC into the EU, so although Europe changed indeed, the British relationship with Europe didn't radically change because of all the opt outs it got, yet when you hear the Tories bang on about Europe, you'd almost think they know so little of the EU these days they aren't even aware of their own opt outs.
The only noticable change for the UK was that Westminster no longer had to legislate on matters relating purely to the SM as legislative sovereignty over that was transferred from national parliaments to the EP, but prior Maastricht British MPs (as well as those in the other EU member states' national parliaments, btw) simply had to rubber stamp whatever they were sent from Brussels, anyway... and let's not be under any illusion: this is exactly what they will again have to do in future too if Britain wants to remain having some sort of frictionless access to the SM, of course.
Before 1992, the legislative process was all very similar to how trade agreements between the EU and a third country are still being ratified even today (because of an ECJ ruling): each national parliament had no other real choice but to pass exactly the same law and once all had done so, it could take effect Europe wide, so the result was exactly the same as today in fact when the EP legislates for the whole of the EU at once, just slower, less efficient and with an air of perceived greater self-determination to it which seems to have fooled quite a lot of people into believing their national parliament was still deciding freely and autonomously, at home.
Reality is you can only have a SM if you adopt the same rules of course, and the rules of the SM are set by the EC, not individual participants, so in future Britain's laws will just have to mirror whatever changes the EP makes to the SM in the same way as the Norwegian or Swiss parliaments shadow the EP too, for instance.
Just ask the Swiss how well it went the last time they decided they would unilaterally alter a single feature of the relationship with the EU....
Anyway, the funny thing is that a pre-maastricht relationship with the EU is perfectly possible after Brexit: it's basically membership of the SM plus a CU, also known as Norway+, but TM arrogantly ruled that out all by herself and has put herself up for a lot of misery since then, although ironically Norway+ is again being looked at by Brexiteers, officially as a transitional phase only to kick the can full of insolvabke issues further down the road once more...
In the 21st century, sovereignty means something else than what it meant in the 19th century: today it means you have a seat at the negotiating table and are able to influence the common decision... walking away from that table just means you'll have no other choice but to accept whatever others decided in your absence, or be left behind.
Last edited by sabenapilot
on Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.