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Parliamentary Sovereignty

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 22nd January 1988.

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Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Southend East 2:45 pm, 22nd January 1988

I am afraid that my hon. Friend is again completely wrong. I have a copy of the Commission's press statement, and that said that there was nothing to prevent us making an interim emergency measure, but to make it permanent would require the permission of the European Commission. Once again my hon. Friend has taken up time in my Adjournment debate and, for the third time, my hon. Friend has said something that is not true. Given his long experience of Common Market matters, he knows that it is untrue, and I am surprised at him, bearing in mind that he is my European Member of Parliament.

In case my right hon. Friend should seek to argue that such losses of sovereignty were agreed by Parliament. I would ask her to tell me when regulation 83/189, which requires us to seek prior approval for the foam in furniture ban, was discussed, debated or approved by Parliament. I believe that she will find that this massive and far-reaching power was never debated. That is the advice that I have received from our excellent Library researchers who explained that it was one of a whole pile of directives considered by the Select Committee on European Legislation and for which it could not recommend discussion in the House because there were so many other vital EEC measures to debate.

Once again we are faced with a power that can stop us doing something that we believe is in the interests of saving children's lives, and that power was not debated in the House.