European External Action Service
Carers (Identification and Support)
Chris Bryant (Rhondda, Labour)
I shall be voting on the substance of the matter, which I wholeheartedly support and, I have to say-this will come as a great disappointment to the hon. Gentleman-in words almost identical to those used by the Minister. No, I do not think it is a good reason to seek to divide the House, but if Mr Bone wishes to do so, obviously he is free so to do .
The reason we support the European External Action Service, and have for some time now, is that we believe that we are moving, as the Foreign Secretary himself said earlier this year in a speech, into a much more multilateral world, where we cannot just accept that there will be two great powers-the United States of America and China. We have to make sure that our power, both exercised independently ourselves and through the European Union, is used to its best effect. We know that in relation to the emerging economies of China, Russia, India, Mexico and Brazil, it is all the more important the Europe takes a united stance if we are to achieve effective outcomes.
We also know that the EU's previous foreign relations structure has been grossly inefficient, thus an individual country has a desk officer for the European Council and a desk officer for the European Commission, and, on top of that, two different departments within the Commission might have desk officers. That is clearly a duplication-not the one to which hon. Members referred earlier, but one that we want to see done away with; and that is why we support the EAS.