Members imply that if we do not keep faith with the EU and the treaty we will

Members imply that if we do not keep faith with the

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scaremongering when hon. Members imply that if we do not keep faith with the EU and the treaty we will be pushed back into a world war: apparently we will be at Germany’s throat, we will be fighting the French, or we will be after the Spanish. The hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey) implied that if we do not vote for the Bill, somehow or other paedophiles will run free around Europe, guns will be all over the place, and we will not even get a European spaceship. Mr. Jeffrey M. Donaldson (Lagan Valley) (DUP): Some of them should be on it. Sammy Wilson: Maybe they should. Space would be a good place to send them. Let me consider just two of the so-called scare stories that have been put around. One is that the powers of the EU institutions have been exaggerated. The amazing thing is that we only have to ask the following question: if we have nothing to worry about from the setting up of an EU institution with a president, a Foreign Minister and a diplomatic corps, why did the Government oppose it in the first place? Michael Connarty: The hon. Gentleman makes me think of the saying, “You put a straw man up to knock it down.” If he says that there is a president, but there is not, he can then talk about a president. If he says that there is a Foreign Secretary, but there is not, he can then talk about a Foreign Secretary. There is no president; there is a President of the Council. There is no Foreign Secretary. Why mythologise? Sammy Wilson: The hon. Gentleman can use whatever name he wants for the Foreign Minister, the president and the diplomatic corps, but they still exist. Let me quote the Foreign Affairs Committee. It has a Labour majority, and the Labour Government are trying to sell us the idea that there is nothing to worry about. The FAC says that “the Government risks underestimating, and certainly is downplaying in public, the importance and potential of the new foreign policy institutions established by the Lisbon Treaty, namely the new High Representative”— I do not care what the person is called; he is a Foreign Minister— “and the European External Action Service”— the European diplomatic service. “We recommend that the Government should publicly acknowledge the significance of the foreign policy aspects of the Lisbon Treaty.” Even a Labour-dominated Committee of this House was prepared to accept that there is something in the treaty that the Government had said they did not want, but which they had got. The Government then said, “It doesn’t matter because we’re not really concerned about it,” and told us that we were scaremongering.
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Rob Marris: I think that the high representative and so on are significant. They are a great advantage to the UK because they give us leverage. We can either stand alone, as we could for years as the UK, or we can stand with 26 other member states. It depends on the issue. Foreign policy in the EU is decided by unanimity. It is an each-way bet.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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