Clause 2 — Addition to list of treaties

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 29th January 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Conservative, Altrincham and Sale West 9:45 pm, 29th January 2008

My hon. Friend makes an important point in his customary trenchant and powerful way. It is not just those of us in our party, or those who care about our national sovereignty on the Labour Benches, who are concerned about the activism of the European Court of Justice. Member states, the President of Austria and the former President of Germany have expressed concerns about the way in which the European Court of Justice can extend the remit and powers of the European Union beyond what appears to have been agreed by member states. In that area, as in so many others, we have a very open-ended set of provisions with little definition.

During our earlier exchanges, we expressed concern about loose language and loose definitions. An example worth reflecting on is in article 69D, which refers to the activities of Eurojust and its scope of operation. It is made clear that Eurojust has the capacity to initiate prosecutions in relation to offences against the financial interests of the Union, but it states that it can initiate prosecutions

"particularly those relating to offences against the financial interests of the Union".

That makes it clear in terms that the provision includes things other than offences relating to the financial interests of the European Union.

I said at the outset that I would not detain the Committee long. I am anxious to hear the Minister's comments and I hope that he will have some answers to the many points and questions that have been raised in the debate.

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website