Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Orders of the Day — European Assembly Elections Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1977.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport 12:00 am, 7th July 1977

I was foolish to give way to the hon. Gentleman. I was dealing with the serious point of democratic control. Anyone seriously interested in this subject, whether for or against the Bill, will be concerned about democratic control. We are not reducing the democratic control of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Ministers going from this House to Brussels, or reducing the limited powers that we have over the Commission. We are attempting to add to these controls.

In the European Assembly yesterday, Commissioner Gundelach was questioned by British Members about the North Sea herring ban. They were able to exercise the democratic control over the Commissioner that we in this House are unable to exercise. It has been claimed that this power is insufficient. I am not claiming that the powers of the Assembly are strong. What is being decided in the Bill is a modest advance in attempting to achieve some increase in the control of the bureaucracy in Europe. [Interruption.]