David Miliband Mr Speaker unless Mr Lilley Yes or no David Miliband It is not

David miliband mr speaker unless mr lilley yes or no

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David Miliband: Mr. Speaker, unless— Mr. Lilley: Yes or no? David Miliband: It is not as simple as that. The right hon. Gentleman is right in that if the measure was not changed we could not opt out. However, as soon as the measure was amended, we would have the right to look at whether we wanted to opt into it. On foreign policy, the Opposition have supported the Government’s actions in the western Balkans. As we have seen in the Balkans, Lebanon and Chad, the EU can play a role in promoting security and stability in neighbouring countries. It is not an alternative to UK foreign policy, but a means—and an important one—for its implementation. As I said on 19 February, although the treaty will not change the fundamental nature of common foreign and security policy co-operation, it will enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and coherence of current arrangements. It will do so first by making the European Council—made up of the member states of the EU—responsible for setting the EU’s strategic priorities for all external action; secondly, by strengthening the coherence of the EU’s external action through a high representative, appointed by and accountable to member states, who replaces the current high representative and the Commissioner for External Affairs; and, thirdly, by bringing together existing Commission and Council officials, together with member state secondees, into a single External Action Service. All of that will bring real benefits. On development, Europe is the world's biggest aid donor, providing more than 55 per cent. of total aid to more than 160 countries, and the Lisbon treaty will help ensure that, for the first time, that money is allocated in line with UK development policy. It makes it clear that EU development aid must have
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“as its primary objective the reduction, and in the long term, the eradication of poverty”. It will legally enshrine the principles of “impartiality”, “non-discrimination” and “neutrality” for the deployment of humanitarian aid. That will help ensure that humanitarian aid is delivered on the basis of need, not on the basis of politics or of geography. Mike Gapes (Ilford, South) (Lab/Co-op): Does my right hon. Friend believe that it would be particularly apposite if the House were to pass this Bill today, which is the 60th anniversary of the murder by defenestration of the democratic Czechoslovakian Prime Minister, Jan Masaryk, by the communist regime? Supporting the Bill today would be a symbol of the new Europe and the new European Union in which we are all united. David Miliband: My hon. Friend draws an important link to the past. I did not know that, but I am very happy to agree that it would be apposite to act today as my hon. Friend suggests. 11 Mar 2008 : Column 159 Hugh Bayley (City of York) (Lab) rose— David Miliband: I will give way to my hon. Friend, but then I am going to make some progress.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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