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Clause 2 — Addition to list of treaties

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 30th January 2008.

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Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Labour, Leicester West 6:00 pm, 30th January 2008

May I add to the hon. Gentleman's response to Mr. Francois? The point is surely that new article 3b of the Lisbon treaty, on page 13, says:

"Under the principle of subsidiarity, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and insofar as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States".

In other words, the shared competence means that member states will act as they choose, and the Union will act only if it is required to do so because national action will not achieve the agreed objectives.