UK-EU Renegotiation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:48 pm on 3rd February 2016.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:48 pm, 3rd February 2016

I do not agree with that, because what we are actually doing is making sure that it is very clear that Britain is carved out of ever closer union. I think that is a real advance. Indeed, it is something that my right hon. Friend and other colleagues have been asking for, quite rightly, and which I have always believed is right. Our view about Europe is that we are not there for political union; we are there for co-operation, we are there for trade and we are there for working together on the things that matter.

Of course, these documents can change—this is all in draft—but one of the issues about ever closer union is that the European Union has actually gone further than I thought it would. I think colleagues will find it interesting that it has said

“the references to an ever closer union…do not offer a basis for extending the scope of any provision of the Treaties or of EU secondary legislation. They should not be used either to support an extensive interpretation of the competences of the Union or of the powers of its institutions as set out in the Treaties.”

That has never been said before in those ways. For those of us who care about ever closer union and about getting out of ever closer union, this actually goes a long way to achieving, in many ways, more than what we asked for.