Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash , Stafford 6:45 pm, 4th March 1993

The results that the hon. Gentleman hopes for from subsidiarity will not be forthcoming. By definition, subsidiarity assumes centralisation; otherwise, there would be nothing to which it could apply. It is a cosmetic exercise: it is a con trick. It is an attempt to give the impression that there will be a greater diffusion of powers to lower levels, whereas in practice the real concession is to the centralising tendencies of the unelected Commission, Court of Justice and bankers. There will be far less opportunity for subsidiarity to take effect than the hon. Gentleman would like. From all the areas in which exclusive competence has been granted under the treaty to these institutions and bodies, subsidiarity is automatically excluded, so there is little to which it can be meaningfully attached.

People are running around trying to tear up, for the time being, several European directives, but they are not changing the powers being granted under this treaty—a treaty which will greatly increase the powers both of the institutions and of the Community itself.

I regard this group of amendments as yet another reason for my decision, already taken, that I do not want us to ratify this treaty, which is centralising, undemocratic, authoritarian and socialist in all its main characteristics.