European Union (Amendment) Bill

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

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour 9:15 pm, 19th May 2008

My Lords, I have never said that we are standing alone against wicked continentals. I do not think that continentals are wicked, although we are perfectly capable of standing on our own; we shall come to an amendment on that later. However, the nuances of the noble Lord's intervention are rather different from those that came across when he made his speech.

The passerelles, which would normally be in a treaty, should, as proposed in Amendments Nos. 136 and 136A, be agreed by a proper legislative process through a Bill in both Houses of Parliament. That is self-evident. The arguments have been made for that, and I do not wish to prolong the debate on it.

We have not heard much about Amendment No. 150. It should not be in this group of amendments. Since it is, however, I shall say a few words about it. This involves the procedure for parliamentary control of decisions taken, day to day, on a large number of issues. The current situation is not satisfactory. Both Houses get notice of what is proposed, they can discuss it, but the Minister then goes over—