European Union (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 19th May 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

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 9:15 pm, 19th May 2008

I recognise that. The noble Lord, Lord Howell, preferring on this occasion the Commons to the Lords committee—we all quote the committee that we prefer—made that particular proposal. We are talking about specific decisions in specific and confined areas in which there may be proposals to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting. As we move from an EU of 27 to an EU of 30 and more, there may on occasions be a case for making such decisions. I have heard many people in Brussels argue that the passerelle clause is likely never to be used, so it is possible that we are having an enormous argument about something that will actually never be carried into practice. The question for us to consider is whether the proposals made in Clause 6 are adequate or whether they need to have belt and braces added by the full Act of Parliament on each one, as the Conservative amendment proposes. I wait to see how the noble Baroness the Leader of the House can assure us that that will be adequately guaranteed.