Friday, 30 November 2007

EU Treaty & Sovereignty on Energy Policy

Leading eurosceptic, William Cash MP, said in the House of Commons on 27 November that:

"I am concerned also about the fact that the EU reform treaty, which the House will debate soon, contains a new energy chapter and essentially the same provisions as those in the original constitutional treaty. It also adds a new element to the policy—the interconnection of energy networks. As was the case under the original constitutional treaty, energy measures cannot affect a member state’s right to determine conditions for the exploitation of energy resources, its choice of energy resources or the structure of its energy supply. However, environmental measures ... can affect such matters. Although such matters are governed by unanimity, the doctrine of the “occupied field” could severely inhibit the manner in which we can legislate. If the new energy chapter goes in, albeit unanimously, we would remain in a very difficult position should we seek to legislate on our own terms—something that I insist upon, because Parliament has to have sovereignty over its energy policy and legislation."

This is worth noting, since it has hardly been argued previously in Parliament that the EU Reform Treaty will have a huge impact on the ability for Britain to determine it's own competitive energy policy.

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