I beg to move,
That this House
approves the Government's policy towards the Treaty of Lisbon in respect of provisions concerning energy.
It is a great pleasure to introduce this important debate about energy. That is, of course, its theme. The twin challenges of tackling climate change and energy security are perhaps two of the biggest challenges that this generation of European politicians and leaders must resolve. If we are to succeed in resolving them, we will need tough and effective action, at both a national and global level. In particular, if we are to respond to those challenges, they call for closer co-operation between members states of the European Union. That is why I strongly support ratifying the treaty of Lisbon. I want the United Kingdom to continue to play a leading role in shaping our response to both those significant energy challenges. It is the view of Labour Members and, I believe, of other hon. Members that we can best do that by passing the European Union (Amendment) Bill and by ratifying the treaty. The case for doing so is compelling.
The treaty enables the European Union to move on from years spent debating institutional reform to look out on the world, not in on ourselves, and to deal with the issues that matter to the people of Europe. The efficient and secure supply of energy will be critical to our economic performance in the coming decades. Building European Union institutions that are better able to function more efficiently, negotiate more effectively and respond more quickly to the needs of its citizens must be our collective aim. However, that chance will be squandered if Opposition Members are allowed to get their way. We cannot afford to spend the next decade looking inward or retreating to the margins of influence in the European Union, as some would like.
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