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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tories in policy shock

Blimey - this from Theresa May, talking about reforming the European Scrutiny Committee in the Commons:

"I believe that the Scrutiny Reserve should be put on a statutory basis, so that ministers are required to come before the Scrutiny Committee before negotiations at the European Council. It would therefore be impossible to override it. Ministers should have to set out their negotiating positions to the Committee, and gain its approval.

"It makes sense for this to be conducted in private, so that ministers are not put at a disadvantage in Council negotiations. The minutes of these meetings could then be made public after the negotiations are complete. This would work along similar lines to the Danish model, although the committee would need to recognise that there would be occasions on which ministers would need to be given a degree of flexibility."

It reads like they actually mean "council of ministers" rather than "European Council". If so it would reflect something that we have been arguing for (which you can find here)

It would actually give the Committeee some meaniungful power for the first time ever. It sounds boring and dry but it would actually make a huge difference - it would let parliament stop the Government from signing up to EU legislation. For example Danish ministers sometimes send text messages back to their parliament to ask if its OK for them to sign up to a particular proposal. Europhiles won't like this much. But its a really good idea.

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