European Communities (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:11 pm on 20th November 2001.

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Photo of Lord Tebbit Lord Tebbit Conservative 5:11 pm, 20th November 2001

During the previous debate, my noble friend Lord Howell of Guildford presented the argument, "If it ain't broke; don't fix it". What he perhaps neglected to recognise was that, so far as the European federalists are concerned, the treaty is "broke" until it becomes a treaty for a European state. That is what they are trying to fix each time that they fix new amendments to the treaty.

However, as we are a bunch of reasonable people in this Chamber, and taking my noble friend's point that, "If it ain't broke; don't fix it", will the Minister tell us which appointment as President of the Commission he believes was so unsatisfactory as to justify a new system? Which one was it? Is it the present president or one of the previous ones? I ask him to name names, because unless he does, we should all conclude that the present system is working perfectly well, in the Minister's opinion.