The European Parliament has the power to stymie the Council of Ministers. I think that I agree with my hon. Friend because I believe that this will be an unsatisfactory procedure. I am not in the least surprised, therefore, that provisions are already in place to allow for further amendment and development, which I think will be along the way that I have suggested—increased power for the European Parliament.
Given the importance of the new procedure for co-decision under article 189b, and taking account of the long periods—three months and an additional six weeks—allowed for reaching agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, I and others have tabled new clause 21, to which I draw the attention of the Committee. It requires that a report shall be made to the United Kingdom Parliament whenever a common position agreed by the Council of Ministers has been rejected by the European Parliament but is still within the negotiating frame. The new clause will give the House of Commons a decent opportunity to question and challenge Ministers on their policy and on the new policy that they intend to adopt in the light of a veto, or the threat of a veto, by the European Parliament.