Paul Rowen Rochdale LD Is my hon Friend aware that one of the additional

Paul rowen rochdale ld is my hon friend aware that

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Paul Rowen (Rochdale) (LD): Is my hon. Friend aware that one of the additional provisions of the Lisbon treaty is that the EU institutions will become subject to the European convention on human rights? While Britain and many other member states are subject to that, the EU and its institutions are not, but under the Lisbon treaty they will be. Mr. Davey: My hon. Friend is right, and that is another example why the Lisbon treaty is a good thing. The EU institutions should be subject to control, checks and accountability. Interestingly, Conservative Members do not like that. To be fair to Conservative Members, however, the biggest misrepresentation of the Lisbon treaty has come from the misnamed Democracy Movement—the leaflet that it has been sending out contains so few facts that it should be entered for the Man Booker prize for fiction. The leaflet focuses on five areas in its attempt to alarm and mislead people. Its first charge is that Britain’s voting strength will be cut by a third. As I have said, our voting share will increase by almost 50 per cent. The Democracy Movement also says that the control of Brussels is being extended over our criminal justice system. There is no mention of the UK opt-ins—our ability to veto any extension of joint
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working to tackle crime, if we so choose—and there is no mention that co-operation on criminal justice is restricted to cross-border issues, such as beating international organised crime and tackling the international trade in drugs, guns and people, which one would have thought supporters of the Democracy Movement would favour. Mr. MacShane: Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that all those words are in very small print, whereas the picture of myself is rather large and handsome? Many of my constituents in Rotherham have asked me how much it cost under the Commons communications allowance to distribute my picture all over my constituency. Mr. Davey: I have not been to Rotherham recently, but I would be happy to receive a copy of that leaflet and to comment on it. What I am commenting on now, however, is the fine detail. The third charge made by the Democracy Movement in the leaflet is that Lisbon creates a president and a Foreign Minister for the EU. As our debates have shown, that is also untrue. The proposal that the existing presidency of the European Council should change from a six-month rotation to a more permanent two-and-a-half year position means that such a president will not be created and that there will be no president of the EU who is akin to a US President. As for the lie that a Foreign Minister is being created, the fact that the EU has no foreign policy on anything unless and until 27 real Foreign Ministers from all member states unanimously agree shows what nonsense that charge is.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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