Treaty of Lisbon (No. 7)

Part of BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE (LISBON TREATY) (No. 6) – in the House of Commons at 5:42 pm on 26th February 2008.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs) 5:42 pm, 26th February 2008

I beg to move amendment (b), in line 1, leave out from 'House' to end and add

"disapproves of the Government's policy towards the Treaty of Lisbon in respect of the provisions on the effectiveness of European Union institutions and decision-making because the Treaty expands the power of EU institutions at Member States' expense by replacing the rotating presidency of the European Council with a permanent President, giving the EU a single legal personality, abolishing national vetoes in more than fifty areas and entrenching marine biological resources as an exclusive EU competence;
notes that these provisions are largely identical to those in the original EU Constitution;
further notes that the details of many of the new powers of the EU and its institutions will not be decided until after the Treaty is ratified;
and regrets the Government's failure to secure the extensive changes Ministers sought to these provisions in the course of negotiations on this Treaty and its near-identical predecessor.".

It tells us something about the shortage of time in which we can debate these matters that we are already more than one third of the way through the period set aside for these motions on the effectiveness of EU institutions. Today's debate concerns some of the treaty's most important elements and they are notable not least because once again they mirror almost exactly the proposals of the EU constitution, on which all parties in the House—including the one that was in some difficulty earlier—pledged at the last election to hold a referendum.