Results 121–140 of 3123 for speaker:Mr David Howell

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: I sensed that the Committee wanted to move on and I did not want to detain it for too long. My answer to the hon. Gentleman is no. More elaborate structures are not what we need. Clearer structures of intergovernmental co-operation can certainly be developed. We certainly need structures that have a more strongly entrenched element to prevent the constant trend towards centralisation. The...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: My hon. Friend tempts me, but, no, I do not. Elsewhere, far outside the House, decisions may be taken and events will occur—perhaps in Copenhagen on 18 May or in some constitutional labyrinth in Germany, where there are difficulties with ratification of the treaty—which may stop this part of the Maastricht process. It would be utterly wrong for us actively to seek to halt the Maastricht...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: I do not think that these are beginnings. Practical bilateral and intergovernmental arrangements are being made between Community countries. People always underestimate, because there is little rhetoric attached to it, the closeness of French and British co-operation. We hear tremendous speeches about the Franco-German brigade, but the reality is that French and British senior soldiers and...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: That depends—this is where I differ from many of the things that my hon. Friend says—on the confidence with which one approaches those matters. He has described half the orange—the half that involves the Commission sitting round the table with the Council of Ministers. The Commission is apparently entitled to be another country and one with a considerable voice. There are dangers, as I...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: The hon. Gentleman leads me to subjects beyond those on which I wanted to touch this evening. I do not want to keep the Committee any longer. As he knows, the problem with the WEU is that it is not an organisation in the sense that NATO is, and some of its members are not members of the Community, and some members of the Community are not members of the WEU. There would be real difficulties...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: That is partly true, but if my right hon. Friend the Minister recalls the hectic days before the final decision to send troops into Kuwait, he will remember that there were a number of rather dramatic wobbles in the French approach to the matter, quite aside from the views from Bonn and Rome. In the end, a common foreign policy view may have emerged, but it was sadly something following the...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: I quibble only with the word "all" in the hon. Gentleman's intervention. Whether one can apply to all aspects the commonality, the commonisation—to conjure up a hideous word that is not in the dictionary—I rather doubt. The position of Japan vis-a-vis Russia is delicate and sensitive. The debate about its northern Islands is curious, especially when one considers how much territory the...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: My hon. Friend is right and the catastrophe has scarcely begun. There is no conceivable end in sight. We now see the heroic attempts—I do not want to denigrate them in any way—to try to create some order after each stage, as the situation gets more and more violent in the Balkans, being frustrated more and more frequently. We now have the realisation that the famous maps put forward by...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: "Confirm" is too strong a word, but I understand that will be the case, although states may seek certain derogations in the negotiations leading to their membership. Broadly speaking, the hon. Gentleman is right: they will be embraced in this part of the union, and will be covered by the pillar of intergovernmental operations that is supposed to deliver a common foreign policy.

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: What Denmark did and not get at the Edinburgh summit is a very interesting, almost surreal subject. The decisions about derogation for Denmark were not made by the Community; they were decided by the individuals who happened to be present as members of the European Council of Ministers, but not in their capacity as Community members. Oddly enough, however, the decision—which was not a...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: I want to proceed with my speech. I have already given way twice in two minutes. First, I want to examine the extent to which we shall see a separation between the activities of the Community machinery—particularly the activities of the Commission—and the activities of the Council of Ministers, acting in its intergovernmental role of dealing with foreign affairs. That requires...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: The answer is yes. The Select Committee on Foreign Affairs has so questioned Ministers, and it hopes in due course to report to the House of Commons on its conclusions. Perhaps I should not go into too much detail about the conclusions we draw, but the evidence that has emerged suggests that it is very difficult to draw a permanent, hard and fast line between these two vast areas of foreign...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: The hon. Gentleman has made a very good point, and other examples could be cited. There is no doubt that, in the particular case to which the hon. Gentleman referred, great forces were at work in the world which drew the allies together in a coalition that was subsequently blessed by the United Nations. It was not actually a UN force. The idea of a common European policy was secondary and...

Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill: Treaty on European Union (25 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: The amendments relate to the part of the Bill—and the relevant part of the treaty—concerning provisions on a common foreign and security policy. Article J of the treaty states: A common foreign and security policy is hereby established which shall be governed by the following provisions. The provisions follow. This is supposed to be the part of the treaty, and the part of the Bill...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation: Amendment of the Law (16 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: As my right hon. Friend said in his marathon Budget speech, of course recovery is coming. We know that from seeing what is happening in the United States, where the growth figures and indicators are rapidly improving. I see no reason why the progress should be aborted unless, having been started by George Bush—who received precious little thanks for it—President Clinton becomes too...

Hong Kong (15 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: Will my right hon. Friend accept that the principle of more democracy in Hong Kong is not really at issue? That principle was accepted long ago by the Chinese in the 1984 accord and is enshrined in the basic agreement, in which the Chinese also talked about the need for a high degree of local autonomy. All that the Governor and my right hon. Friend are trying to do now is to bring forward...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Hong Kong (10 Mar 1993)

Mr David Howell: Does my right hon. Friend accept that, as evidenced by the last question, the Governor of Hong Kong has the full support of the House in his difficult handling of the reform process with Beijing? Does he accept that although we respect the aims of the People's Republic of China in trying to develop a market economy, want its friendship and wish to pay it every courtesy, that is not by any...

International Peacekeeping (23 Feb 1993)

Mr David Howell: This debate provides a welcome opportunity to discuss international peacekeeping and the United Nation's changing role. I hope that the evidence given at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on the subject is of some help to the House, and that the same will be true of the Committee's report on the "Agenda for Peace" agenda and of this country's interest in seeing it unfold when it is finally...

Maastricht Treaty (15 Feb 1993)

Mr David Howell: Is not the position that Parliament makes laws and the Executive have the authority to make treaties? Is not the position that, as long as this Parliament enacts all the legal provisions that flow from the Maastricht treaty, and as long as Parliament approves the treaty in principle, as the House did on Second Reading, the Government are free to ratify the treaty? What steps will my right...

Orders of the Day — Railways Bill (2 Feb 1993)

Mr David Howell: I am wholly in favour of my right hon. Friend's aims to change the culture and to harness private enterprise, with all its vigour, to public purposes. He must be right in the way forward he is going, but when it comes to the commuter services—I think particularly of Network SouthEast—he must recognise that we are looking not merely for improved services but for an entirely new and...


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