My question for Mr Hague, is will he act in support of the last Conservative Manifesto on the crucial question of the EU’s power?
The Manifesto we both fought on was crystal clear on the matter of the EU. It said in the opening paragraph that “We will work to bring back key powers over legal rights, criminal justice and social and employment legislation to the UK”. I saw no need to say something different in my personal manifesto on these items, other than to pledge to vote for a referendum.
The Manifesto went on to say:
“In future, the British people must have their say on any transfer of powers to the EU….We will introduce a UK Sovereignty bill to make it clear ultimate authority stays in this country, in our Parliament. The steady and unaccountable intrusion of the EU into almost every aspect of our lives has gone too far…”
Nest week I will willingly vote for a simple motion opting us out of all 133 Criminal Justice measures we can opt out from. I cannot vote for a motion to opt back into any them, especially something as fundamental as the European Arrest Warrant. We should opt out, and then negotiate arrangements for extradition between ourselves and the rest of the EU on a bilateral basis, as we do with other non EU countries. I do not wish this matter to be put under the control of the European Court, and to be put beyond our amendment or improvement in later years by incorporation as a sole EU competence or power.
I understand the government’s Lib Dem problem. They apparently will only vote for the opt out from the 133 if there is to be some opt back in, whilst many Conservatives have no wish to opt back in. It poses a difficult question for Ministers. I assume Labour will back the Lib Dems as they usually do. Both these parties it seems take delight in giving as much power away to Brussels as possible.