As to the changes in voting rights I hope people will realise that this amounts

As to the changes in voting rights i hope people will

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“As to the changes in voting rights, I hope people will realise that this amounts to an increase in the UK’s share from 8.4 per cent. to 12.2 per cent. of the total vote. That is a matter of considerable significance and a wholly positive factor.” That was said by the former Conservative Cabinet Minister Lord Brittan. According to another former Conservative Foreign Secretary, “the facts that the charter of fundamental rights will not be justiciable and that we will not be bound by justice and home affairs matters unless we so wish, are important.”
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Those are the words of the right hon. and learned Member for Kensington and Chelsea (Sir Malcolm Rifkind). There are many other benefits for Britain to which those experienced Conservatives could have drawn attention. Mr. Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): This is probably the last speech that the hon. Gentleman will make during this marathon debate on Europe. I congratulate him on the consistency and powerful energy that he has displayed in supporting a centralised European superstate with closer integration, but does it not concern him a little that when it came to a Division the Liberal Democrat party was so hopelessly divided? Mr. Davey: I have been grateful to the hon. Gentleman throughout our debates, because he was one of the plucky six who voted against the Conservative line with us on 14 November and in favour of our proposal for an in-out referendum. However, his reading of the Lisbon treaty, which suggests that power is more centralised, is completely and utterly wrong. This is the first time that the principle of subsidiarity has appeared in the treaty wording. Mr. David Heath (Somerton and Frome) (LD): My hon. Friend is right—the treaty makes important advances in terms of subsidiarity and the role of national Parliaments —but does he share my dismay at the fact that there is still not the slightest clarity about how the process will be translated into British parliamentary practice, and about how the House will be given the safeguards that the treaty affords it? Mr. Davey: I agree, and I think it incumbent on the Government to spell out those safeguards, perhaps in the other place, and to work with other legislatures and Governments. That is the only way in which those powers can be given effect. I want to discuss the other benefits of the Lisbon treaty for Britain. They include Britain’s increased 11 Mar 2008 : Column 188 ability to protect our children from sex offenders—Lisbon allows member states to share information about convicted paedophiles—Britain’s increased ability to tackle gun crime on our streets thanks to Lisbon’s provision for closer co-operation in stopping gun trafficking and Britain’s increased ability to counter drug trafficking and the exploitation of women by people traffickers thanks to other Lisbon provisions. Yet while experienced Conservatives welcome such measures, Conservative Front Benchers oppose them. They should be in no doubt that we will remind voters that the
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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