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'Article 1 (other than paragraph 7),'.

Amendment No. 47, in page 1, line 9, after "(i)", insert—

'Article 1 (other than paragraph 8),'.

Amendment No. 48, in page 1, line 9, after "(i)", insert—

'Article 1 (other than paragraph 9),'.

Amendment No. 53, in page 1, line 9, after "(i)", insert—

'Article 1 (other than paragraph 15),'.

Amendment No. 78, in page 1, line 9, after "10", insert—

'other than Article 2, paragraph 47'.

Amendment No. 29, in page 1, line 12, after "occasion", insert—

'except for Article 3, paragraph 1(b) of the Protocol on the Enlargement of the European Union in so far as that relates to the appointment of a special representative in the area of common foreign and security policy'.

New clause 1—Special representative in the area of common foreign and security policy

17 Jul 2001 : Column 157

'In relation to Article 1, paragraph 3 of the Treaty of Nice, amending Article 23(2) TEU, prior to a vote in the Council on the appointment of a special representative in the area of common foreign and security policy, Her Majesty's Government shall lay a report before Parliament setting out its preferred candidate for the post and shall lay a further report after the Council meeting if that candidate has not been adopted.'.

New clause 2—International agreements under Article 24 TEU

'In relation to Article 1, paragraph 4 of the Treaty of Nice, amending Article 24 TEU, prior to casting a vote in the Council on any such international agreement, Her Majesty's Government shall lay before Parliament a report setting out the implications for the United Kingdom of such an agreement.'.

New clause 7—Western European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

'This Act will not come into effect until Her Majesty's Government has laid before Parliament a report showing the implications for the Western European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, for the future functioning of these organisations, and for the United Kingdom's role therein, of Article 1, paragraph 2 of the Nice Treaty, revising Article 17 TEU, and Article 1, paragraph 5 of the Nice Treaty, revising Article 25 TEU.'.

New clause 8—Adoption of decisions under Article 17, paragraph 1, TEU

'For the purpose of Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by Article 1, paragraph 2 of the Treaty of Nice, the constitutional requirement of the United Kingdom before any decision under that paragraph (common defence) may be adopted by the United Kingdom shall be that the decision shall have been approved by an Act of Parliament.'.

New clause 33—Eurojust

'This Act shall not come into force until Her Majesty's Government has obtained, and laid before Parliament, legal advice from the Attorney General on the effect on the criminal and judicial processes in the United Kingdom of Article 1, paragraph 8 of the Nice Treaty, revising Article 31 TEU, as they relate to the provisions on Eurojust.'.

3.33 pm

Mr. William Cash (Stone): As usual, I declare an interest as mentioned in the Register of Members' Interests.

At the end the previous debate, I was speaking about the role of Mr. Solana and I said that before he was appointed, he campaigned against NATO for about seven years. I have to say that that did not fill me with a great deal of encouragement.

Article 23 of the treaty on European Union refers to the appointment of common foreign and security policy special representatives and provides for the extension of qualified majority voting when appointing a special representative, currently the said Javier Solana—who, by some pretty skilful manipulation, jumped from being Secretary-General of NATO to being in charge of the CFSP as the special representative, and has extraordinarily significant powers. I hope that his performance improves on the basis that I have just described. The same extension of qualified majority voting also applies when appointing a deputy. In my judgment, that will further reduce the accountability of the reaction force and reinforce its autonomy.

Article 24 raises a number of problems in relation to international agreements in the CFSP and the JHA—Justice and Home Affairs Committee—with qualified

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majority voting. In my judgment, the article is phrased in a most unsatisfactory fashion and, probably on purpose, retains veto powers, as I have explained, but not in respect of certain other articles which raise a number of questions that I shall not deal with now, but refer to the Minister in my written submissions to him. Perhaps he will deal with them in writing.

In October 1998, during an informal summit at Poertschach in Austria, the Prime Minister launched the ESDI in a speech of which no transcript is publicly available. No such policy was even hinted at in the strategic defence review published just three months earlier. Indeed, leaked Cabinet papers show that Ministers opposed the plan in 1997. There has been a massive U-turn. The Prime Minister decided at the Helsinki summit to forge ahead in defence by establishing what was then to be a 65,000-strong European defence corps. Apparently, it has now been trimmed to 60,000, as I shall point out in a moment.

Of course, the Prime Minister denied the obvious fact that we have created a European army. As I said in the previous sitting, that army is to be autonomous and subject to majority voting. It will have an international remit, rather than a merely European one. I asked the Prime Minister when he returned from the Helsinki summit what else the words "autonomous" and "international" meant, as used in the presidency conclusions that he signed.

Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham): My hon. Friend said that Ministers opposed the idea of a European army in 1997. Did not the Prime Minister also object to the proposal, and describe it as an "ill-judged transplant operation"?

Mr. Cash: Indeed, and that shows how ambiguous and deceitful the arrangement is. What its inspiration is, and what deals are being struck, are matters for conjecture. No doubt they will be revealed when the Cabinet papers are disclosed in due course, but the gravamen of my charge is that it will be far too late by then.

In March 1998, the Prime Minister issued an unequivocal pledge, on which he has now ratted. He said:

I believe that Britain is giving up that control.

As I predicted some time ago, the Western European Union was abolished earlier this year. By any sane measure, Europe is far from solving the problem of lack of co-ordination that hamstrung its policy and action in the Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo. It was Germany's unilateral decision to recognise Croatia that contributed to the problems that beset Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s. The Foreign Secretary of the day, who is now my noble Friend Lord Hurd of Westwell, said originally that Britain would not recognise Croatia, but later told the House that we would. I remember that I challenged him about that. In statements made to me in private, I received good and authentic evidence that that reversal stemmed from a deal connected to Britain's opt-out from economic and monetary union.

Germany's Foreign Minister at the time was Mr. Genscher. He described the recognition of Croatia as

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I do not consider that much of a victory.

Dr. Julian Lewis (New Forest, East): Was what happened in 1945 a victory for the Germans?

Mr. Cash: My father was killed in 1944, so I am more than happy to say that I believe that the war ended in victory for Britain.

The Franco-German summit contained declarations on the shared military intelligence satellite Syracuse 3, on a rapid deployment corps, and on heavy-lift capacity. I have already referred to the dismal spending levels that have been set, which demonstrate the lack of will to combine proposed functions with the resources that are claimed to be necessary. We are creating a serious foreign policy, diplomatic and military problem. Potential enemies are given a substantial advantage—which they will always exploit—when they see that policies on military capability are not backed up with resources.

Patrick Mercer (Newark): Does my hon. Friend agree that the European rapid reaction force will add not a single ounce to Europe's combat power? Not one extra gun, tank, bayonet, aircraft or ship will be added to the strength. The proposals deal with headquarters, communications and sappers only, not with anything directly involved in fighting.

Mr. Cash: I was going to come to that, but my hon. Friend won a great victory in Newark at the general election and has enormous knowledge of military matters, so I completely agree with what he says.

The rapid reaction force is a nightmare. It is to have a full-time military command structure. In the light of what my hon. Friend says, it is pretty astonishing that there will be additional staff to man the so-called capability when it is a phantom army.

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