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European Union Bill

Part of Safe Standing (Football Stadia) – in the House of Commons at 4:48 pm on 7th December 2010.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 4:48 pm, 7th December 2010

I will give way again in a moment, but I shall give way to my hon. Friend Mr Carswell next.

We have also provided further clarity on the scope of the referendum lock by setting out certain categories of treaty change that would not require a referendum: first, the accession of a new country to the EU-the hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston looks surprised-would not require a referendum, although each accession treaty would still require approval by an Act of Parliament; secondly, a treaty change that, while it would have to be agreed and ratified by all member states, would not apply to this country; and, thirdly, a treaty change that merely sought to codify EU practice in relation to the previous exercise of an existing competence. The Bill does not cover any use of the EU's existing competences as defined in the treaties, because those competences have already been transferred and the extent of the competences is set out in European law.