Aldershot MP Gerald Howarth issued a stark warning that if the proposed European Constitution is agreed by Britain's Labour government, the United Kingdom's status as a sovereign nation state will be destroyed.

Speaking at the Aldershot Conservative Association's annual meeting in Aldershot, Mr Howarth said:

"The Convention on the Future of Europe is racing along to draw up a European Constitution which will become the foundation of a United States of Europe, which has been the undisguised ambition of some of our continental partners.

"But most people in Britain have no idea of what is being fashioned in their name. How many people realise that if this proposal goes through:

l Foreign and security policies will be decided by the European Union

l The ‘Union' will gain ‘exclusive competence' to negotiate and sign all international agreements, including those covering domestic policy issues like criminal justice

l Social policy, health, transport and energy will become ‘shared competences' so that member states may only pass laws where the ‘Union' has decided not to do so

l The ‘Union' will also ‘co-ordinate the economic policies of the member states'

l Existing EU directives will become ‘European Laws' and there will be a new category of ‘non-legislative acts' to be enacted by the European Commission under delegated powers and which will be binding on member states. The ancient English Common law will be subsumed into European law, so we will be bound to harmonise our laws with theirs.

"This is a blueprint for the final destruction of our sovereign Parliament. Together with the plan to abolish the £ sterling, it is the most damaging threat to our national sovereignty and our powers of self-government, yet the Government has refused to give the British people a say through a referendum. It is content to allow this plan to proceed whilst everyone is understandably distracted by the Iraq war.

"The Conservative representatives on the Convention are fighting hard, but they are clearly out-numbered. We are demanding a referendum. Indeed, every Briton should be demanding that this proposed transfer of power should not pass.

"Not only do these proposals represent an unacceptable surrender of sovereignty, but they are also utterly unrealistic. How on earth can you expect a common European foreign policy when France, and to a lesser extent Germany, has sought to thwart Britain's freedom of action over Iraq?

Tidal wave of immigration

"Their agenda is clear. They resent the power of the United States of America and want to create an alternative bloc. Unable to achieve that on their own, France is trying to dragoon other European states into their bloc."

Mr Howarth told his constituency AGM that whilst the Conservative opposition is supporting the Government on Iraq, there were major disagreements on a wide range of other issues. "Labour has squandered the economic legacy left by the Conservatives, and this month's tax increases are imposing extra burdens on business. Labour's asylum policy is in ruins with a tidal wave of 110,000 asylum seekers trying to get into Britain last year (excluding the unknown number of illegals); students face crippling top-up fees, pensions are in freefall, yet the Government finds time for its obsession to make criminals out of country people who go hunting, and overturns the House of Lords's sensible rejection of Labour's plans to allow homosexual couples to adopt."