European Commission: National Parliaments

Part of Deregulation Bill (Programme) (No.3) – in the House of Commons at 5:55 pm on 10th March 2015.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative, North East Somerset 5:55 pm, 10th March 2015

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. That is part of the control of the Commission and part of the anti-democratic set-up of the European

Union, and I do not think that is accidental; were it genuinely democratic, it would never have evolved to its current state.

We get these sops, with this business of the yellow cards, of which only two have been accepted by the Commission, and one of those was immediately dismissed—it said that the one for the public prosecutor was not a matter of subsidiarity anyway and so it would push ahead regardless. We have a threshold that is very hard to reach, and as a result of which nothing need happen, and a two-month period that makes it incredibly difficult for national Parliaments to get their responses in within the limited time available. The red card would be little better.

What we actually need is for our constituents—the people of the United Kingdom—to take back control of their own Government. That might be possible through renegotiation if the Government are robust, but the problem is that at the moment the Government show no sign of being robust or willing to push back to the European Union. They come out with platitudes that support the continuing accretion of power to the EU. They come forward with the fine words I have mentioned but never push on the difficult decisions. Yesterday the Minister for Europe told us that Switzerland wants to pull out of one of the treaties and that it has to take it all or leave it all, but that is an outrageous position to take if we are in favour of renegotiating for ourselves.

I urge the Government to be robust, to support democracy and to make sure that, for once, what they say and what they do match.