There will be an emergency debate for three hours in the House of Commons on Wednesday, which will take priority over Government business, following Bill Cash’s application to the Speaker of the House of Commons this afternoon to hold an emergency debate in the House. The Speaker granted the debate after Mr. Cash formally applied to hold the debate on the European Treaty of the 25 Member States.
The non-EU Treaty between 25 of the 27 Member States, on which the Prime Minister had exercised the veto, makes use of certain institutions of the EU, in particular the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. The debate comes ahead of a European Council meeting on Thursday 1 March. The Prime Minister will be attending the Council.
Mr. Cash made the three-minute speech below in the House, which explains the necessity for an emergency debate.
“There is not only an economic crisis in Europe but there is a further black hole of coercion and democracy.
“This is an unacceptable and slippery slope given that technocratic governments have already effectively been imposed on Greece and Italy.
“The existing European treaties are the root cause of the problems, with their overregulation and centralisation which is both unworkable and undemocratic, preventing the growth that is needed in the individual Member States to get out of the economic and debt crisis that is endemic throughout Europe.”
“The Treaties must be renegotiated but all we hear is demands by the Euro-establishment for more Europe and more integration, all of which will lead to less peace and prosperity, more chaos and more riots and disorder.”
William Cash MP – application to hold an emergency debate under Standing Order No. 24
Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move the adjournment of the House to discuss a specific and important matter that I believe should have urgent consideration, namely “the legal and other action now to be taken by Her Majesty’s Government in upholding the rule of law and protecting UK interests in respect of the nature and content of the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union”. In my remarks, I shall refer to this as ‘the Treaty’. This is not an EU Treaty. The fifth and only draft was only made available immediately before the last European Council. It confers functions on EU institutions including the European Commission and the Court of Justice.
The importance of the matter is that this non-EU Treaty is only between 25 of the 27 Member States, the Prime Minister having exercised the veto. The Treaty, however, makes use of certain institutions of the EU, in particular the European Commission and the European Court of Justice.
The United Kingdom Government has itself expressed grave reservations about the legality, as is demonstrated by the recent letter from the UK Ambassador to the EU, Sir Jon Cunliffe, to the Secretary-General of the European Council (which has been placed in the Library). Concerns expressed by pre-eminent lawyers over the treaty include breach of European and other aspects of the rule of law, both in principle and by reference to specific articles of the Treaty.
The urgency of the matter is that there is a European Council meeting on Thursday 1 March. The Prime Minister will be attending the Council. The question of the legality of the Treaty and whether the Government intends to take them to the European Court of Justice is a matter of great urgency given the fact that other Member States and their parliaments, such as the Bundestag, are deciding the issues and the ratification of this treaty.
As respects the United Kingdom, there are very legitimate concerns about the legality of the conferral under this treaty of certain functions on the European Commission and the Court of Justice, which are institutions of the EU.
The European Scrutiny Committee has taken evidence on the Treaty.
The Leader of the House declined last Thursday at Business Questions, at my request, as Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, to allow a debate in Government time on the floor of the House. We are holding an inquiry into the Treaty and its legality. The Foreign Secretary has twice declined the unanimous request of the European Scrutiny Committee to appear before the Committee in reasonable time, although the Minister for Europe did give evidence last Thursday.
It is essential for the United Kingdom Parliament, on behalf of the voters of the UK, who are affected by the Treaty proposals and the Government’s decision on the question of legality, to debate this as a matter of urgency and my proposal is supported by many Members of Parliament.
I would of course be grateful for the support of the House for my proposal for an emergency debate to be held before the European Council which takes place on Thursday.