European Union (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 19th May 2008.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP 7:45 pm, 19th May 2008

I thought it was perfectly clear under the present arrest warrant that that person can be so extradited. I am doing the Minister's job for him, but I feel sure that he agrees. If he does not, this is his moment to say so.

I was merely trying to draw these amendments to a close in the happy conclusion that the Government have said that it will not be possible to be prosecuted, extradited or anything for the crime of xenophobia when it entails speaking against or insulting the European Union, especially as the project proceeds. My noble friend Lord Stoddart may well be right. As I said, I think we need to look at Hansard and come back on Report if necessary.

On direct taxation, I think that the Minister said that this amendment was quite unnecessary. I fear that he will turn out to have given a hostage to fortune. I am reasonably sure that as this project proceeds, using the single-market provisions of the treaty which are under qualified majority voting or the social policy provisions of the treaty, the European Union will get its tentacles round more of our direct taxation than it has already done through the judicial activism of the Court. But I am delighted that the noble Lord said that. As I say, I hope he has not given a couple of hostages to fortune. In the mean time, I am happy to beg leave to withdraw the amendment.