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 Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Deputy Leader, House of Lords, Spokesperson in the Lords, Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Spokesperson in the Lords, Home Affairs 7:45 pm, 19th May 2008

We all appreciate that we play games on this. I simply read the relevant report of the House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, which satisfies us on this point:

"This is a Henry VIII power, but its scope is narrowly confined to two specific kinds of consequential amendment. We consider neither the delegation nor the level of scrutiny to be inappropriate".

We on these Benches accept that. We remain deeply committed to active parliamentary scrutiny on the whole process of European integration. That cannot only be done as we pass each institutional amendment to the treaty. We must work at it through our committees as well as in our Chamber on a continuing basis. That is the sort of scrutiny to which we are committed. We are rather less committed to playing games with the Conservative Opposition.