Clause 2 — Addition to list of treaties

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 26th February 2008.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash Conservative, Stone 8:30 pm, 26th February 2008

I am glad to do so. I have a list of the newly defined shared competences as they are set out under the new regime—under the new rubric of the European Court of Justice, as extended into this new field. Although the Court has had primacy for some time, its power increases as its functions accumulate. Competence is power. It has not yet been mentioned today, but one of the things on which we need to focus is the asserted primacy of the European Court of Justice in relation to these new and accumulated functions, and the exclusion of national Parliaments, in particular our own, with respect to the shared and the exclusive competences.

Two things are operating in the same direction, but in a contrary manner: the increase by accumulation in power and judicial authority of the European Court of Justice, and the diminution in power of the national Parliaments, which are in direct proportion to one another. We fall straight between the two. Some of us may recall from our history books Dunning's motion that the power of the Crown

"has increased, is increasing and ought to be diminished."

That is exactly what we should say about the European Union, the European Court of Justice and the manner in which the Government are treating this country.

The shared competences are as follows: the internal market; those aspects of social policy defined in the treaty; economic, social and territorial cohesion; agriculture and fisheries; environment; consumer protection; transport; trans-European networks; energy; area of freedom, security and justice; and common safety concerns in public health matters. Those accumulated functions are eating away at the body politic in this country. Furthermore, article 2A of the treaty says that member states can legislate in any area of the shared competences only to the extent that the European Union has not exercised its competence. That will invert subsidiarity. I must discuss subsidiarity, because it was mentioned by the hon. Member for Preston, who has now left his— [ Interruption. ] No, he has moved sideways. He is moving, crabwise, further and further towards the exit.