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

My right hon. and learned Friend makes a very important point. If we stand back for a moment and ask ourselves how it is that powers have been taken from this House to Brussels, we see that it has really happened in two ways. First, successive treaties have passed competences from Britain to Brussels. That cannot happen anymore because we legislated in the last Parliament for the referendum lock, so if any Prime Minister—me or any subsequent Prime Minister—tried to sign up to another treaty to pass powers to Brussels, they could not do so because there would be a referendum. The second way in which powers get passed is through the judgments of the European Court of Justice. That is why what has been secured on ever closer union is important. It says in terms, if we get the deal agreed, that that clause cannot be used to drive a ratchet of competences going from Britain to Brussels. The two routes to further integration, where Britain is concerned, have been effectively blocked off.