<strong>Last night in the Commons John Redwood was again prominent in the ranks of MPs remonstrating against the inevitable loss of Parliamentâ€™s legislative powers if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified. </strong>
John Redwoodâ€™s three interventions, taken from Hansard, follow.
<strong>Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): </strong>Why did the Home Secretary not just say that Great Britain wishes to keep in place the original architectureâ€”outside the EU treaty and European Court of Justice jurisdictionâ€”and to co-operate with other member states where appropriate, so that we preserve our veto and future Parliaments can change their mind if they wish? The problem with her system is that future Parliaments will be bound by any decision she makes.
<strong>Jacqui Smith: </strong>I made it absolutely clear that I feltâ€”I shall outline this when I make some progress in my speechâ€”that having the benefits of taking EU co-operation forward through the new treaty arrangements alongside the protection of UK interests negotiated through our opt-ins on a range of justice and home affairs areas was the right balance to deliver the sorts of results that we wanted.
<strong>Mr. Redwood: </strong>Will the Home Secretary tell us how she would have felt if the previous outgoing Conservative Government had passed a series of laws that Labour did not like and had locked them all in by means of an opt-in so that they could not be repealed without the consent of most of the other member states? Is that a democratic way of proceeding?
<strong>Jacqui Smith: </strong>I would have hoped that any Government had negotiated hard in Britainâ€™s interest. I would have hoped to see negotiating success such as that which we have seen in this case, although I am not sure that that Conservative Government would have achieved it. I also would have expected lengthy and detailed scrutiny of the proposals, along the same lines as that which we are carrying out and that will take place over the coming days. That is what the Government are delivering.
Mr. Redwood: Will my hon. Friend confirm that, every time the Government opt in to an area of competence under the treaty, the House can no longer reach a free and independent view and repeal and amend it and it cannot be debated sensibly in a general election? The people, as well as Parliament, have lost their power.
<strong>Mr. Grieve:</strong> My right hon. Friend is right and I shall deal with that point towards the end of remarks.