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European Union Bill

Part of Safe Standing (Football Stadia) – in the House of Commons at 6:52 pm on 7th December 2010.

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Photo of Mike Gapes Mike Gapes Labour, Ilford South 6:52 pm, 7th December 2010

I am not so sure that I want our judges making political decisions. Political decisions should be made by elected politicians, because after all we can be removed and our electors can throw us out. The judges cannot be elected, unless the hon. Gentleman wants us to adopt-God help us-the American system, and we should not do that.

The Minister, in his recent written statement, said:

"The common law is already clear...Parliament is sovereign."-[ Hansard, 11 October 2010; Vol. 516, c. 4WS.]

He went on to say that the Bill's provisions do not alter the existing relationship of EU law and UK law. In which case, why do we need the Bill? If Parliament is sovereign, as he states, why have the Government come up with the proposals before us? The Bill is a fig leaf. It is a political tactic to give the impression that the Government are fulfilling the Conservatives' obligation, in their manifesto commitment, to their Eurosceptics on a possible referendum-but not on the issue on which the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex wishes to have a referendum; it is to be on other issues.

The Bill is an absurdity. It is a bad Bill, which leaves open the potential for legal challenges and judicial reviews, takes away power from Parliament and gives it to the judiciary, and does not change the relationship, as the Minister says, between existing UK law and the European Union. Therefore, why do we need it? It is a disgrace, and it should be rejected.