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National Parliaments (EUC Report) — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:35 pm on 15th December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 8:35 pm, 15th December 2014

My Lord, I understand that, and I take that as read. Time is very short. I will therefore turn to government engagement with our Parliament and our committees which the noble Lord, Lord Boswell, mentioned in his opening. He made a number of strong remarks about the Home Office in particular and also about the Cabinet Office, which I will take back and to which we will respond in time.

I disagree with the noble Lord, Lord Davies, that Ministers are delegates, as I think he said at one point. We all understand that we ask our Ministers to engage in a series of complicated negotiations. The importance there is to have a constant dialogue with Parliament and with parliamentary committees as to how far we can go.

This has been an extremely valuable debate. We all understand how vital is the question of restoring a sense of the electorate’s own membership of the European Union, and how difficult that is—as well as how much we hope that what we do in this Chamber and what is done in the other place and other national parliaments can help to rebuild a sense of legitimacy and accountability for the very necessary tasks that we ask the European Union to fulfil.