Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Tristan Garel-Jones Mr Tristan Garel-Jones , Watford 7:45 pm, 4th March 1993

I am listening carefully to the right hon. Gentleman, who is touching on something that is of importance to the Committee and, indeed, to the House of Commons. He is talking about how the House of Commons will scrutinise and undertake its level of responsibility in all matters European. The right hon. Gentleman will know that it is rare for an element of procedure to be included in an Act of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman's argument surprises me because he knows that appropriate Standing Committees have been established, which are doing their work. The House of Commons may wish to improve on those Committees as it gains experience. I would be surprised to see a piece of legislation—an Act of Parliament which is essentially a European Act of Parliament to do with Europe—dictating the procedures of the House of Commons. That which the right hon. Gentleman is suggesting may be sensible—indeed, it is the proper route for the House of Commons to take—but it does not need to be told to follow it in an Act of Parliament. I would contend that such a measure would slightly inhibit the House of Commons.