Treaty of Lisbon (No. 2) — (2nd Allotted Day)

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 30th January 2008.

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Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform 12:50 pm, 30th January 2008

I did deal with that point— [Interruption.] Alan Duncan may not have liked my answer, but I definitely dealt with the point. To recap, I should say that we did have concerns about an energy article; there is no question about that. However, the concerns have been addressed. The importance of the Lisbon treaty in relation to energy is that there are important new energy red lines. First, we are able to protect and secure our rights over our national oil and gas reserves. Secondly, we can ensure that we can always act to ensure security of supply in emergencies. Furthermore, any new article will not impede progress in opening up EU energy markets and liberalisation. The concerns have been addressed; that is why I say to my hon. Friends, and to Members across the House, that they should support the ratification of the treaty.

To make real progress on all these issues, the UK has to play an active role in the European Union. The EU itself must be effective and efficient, focused on discussion and action beyond its own institutions on the issues that matter. Working together for the EU and each member state's national interest in relation to energy, the treaty of Lisbon will help us achieve that. It will enable the enlarged EU to work more efficiently, and the UK to negotiate more effectively about the future role and focus of a modern global Europe.

As I have set out, the Lisbon treaty meets the UK's red lines, protecting the UK in areas of vital national importance and helping us to focus on the big issues, including energy. It is what we said we wanted: an amending treaty, not a constitution. It is a good deal for Britain and for the whole of Europe, and I commend it to the House.