Richard North, 11/02/2005  

On the vexed issue of whether the EU constitution gives new powers to national parliaments, as asserted by the government, Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory, Conservative MP for Wells - and one of our two representatives on the EU’s constitutional convention – rather put the record straight when he spoke in the second reading debate of the European Union Bill, last Wednesday. "We heard again the tired argument about this new power for national Parliaments over subsidiarity", he said, adding:

That is not new; we can object already. It is certainly not a power, as we can object all we like, and the Commission can go on ignoring us. All that we get in this constitution is a new right to be ignored.
I like that – and as a sound-bite, it is hard to beat. One to treasure, methinks.

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