European Union (Amendment) Bill
Lord Willoughby de Broke (UKIP)
My name is added to this amendment, to which I shall speak briefly. I do not think that the noble Lord, Lord Wallace, said a single word about the amendment—he went off slagging off Eurosceptics and talking about conspiracy theories that people may or may not have. Perhaps I may draw his attention back to the amendment, which concerns the withdrawal provisions in the treaty. Speaking for UKIP, as my noble friend Lord Pearson did, I can say that we are at one with the Government on this. I say that because, a few years ago, the former Foreign Office Minister, the noble and learned Baroness, Lady Scotland, stated our position exactly. In January 2000, she said:
"We see no need for the Treaties governing membership of the Union to include a specific provision on unilateral withdrawal. It remains open to Parliament to repeal the European Communities Act 1972, the logical consequences of which would be to withdraw from the EU. The terms of such a withdrawal would be for the Government to negotiate with the other member states ".—[Hansard, 11/1/00; col. WA 96-97.]
That is the UKIP position, and I am very happy that it is the Government's position as well; or it was the Government's position. One of the first things that we should negotiate is to tell our ex-fellow members that we are no longer sending them a cheque from the British taxpayer of £14 billion a year.