Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The EU debated in Westminster this PM

Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston) (Lab): I spent yesterday in Berlin talking to German politicians, and I think that the British Government will discover treaty changes pretty quickly. Those politicians feel that the stability and growth plan is dead, and that it is not the mechanism to take us forward. May I urge the Minister to answer a specific question? Given that 25 of the 27 member states either are members of the eurozone or will have to become members under treaty obligation, and that only two have an opt-out, does he agree that anything that would strengthen the financial and economic co-ordination of the 25, plus the two with opt-outs, would represent a diminution of our sovereign ability to exert our influence and would therefore be subject to a referendum here?

Mr Hoban: As I reiterated earlier—and as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made clear—we will not endorse a treaty that transfers sovereignty from Westminster to the EU. The hon. Lady takes a close interest in these matters, and I know that she will recognise that views among member states about the desirability of treaty changes vary, and that the UK is not the only one that is concerned about this.

Mr Douglas Carswell (Clacton) (Con): In June, Ministers made a big deal of the fact that the UK Budget would not need to be submitted to EU institutions before it was brought to the House of Commons. Will the Minister confirm that, in fact, the UK pre-Budget report data are part of the European semester process, and that, while we might be exempt from sanctions, we are part of that surveillance? Will he be honest and admit that we are part of the EU fiscal scrutiny process?

Mr Hoban: I believe that this Parliament should hear news about this country’s finances before the EU does. We have secured that situation and that was the right thing to do.

The entire debate is on Hansard from here. The recommendations from Van Rompuy's task force on economic governance is here.

Cameron heads to Brussels tomorrow to further betray his Country and once again trash his own clear promises and manifesto commitments.



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