As you can see on today’s order paper, Mark Reckless MP has courageously brought forward the following motion, which I have signed (emphasis mine):


That this House notes with concern that UK taxpayers are potentially being made liable for bail-outs of Eurozone countries when the UK opted to remain outside the Euro and, despite agreement in May 2010 that the EU-wide European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) of €60 billion would represent only 12 per cent. of the non-IMF contribution with the remaining €440 billion being borne by the Eurozone through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), that the EFSM for which the UK may be held liable is in fact being drawn upon to the same or a greater extent than the EFSF; further notes that the European Scrutiny Committee has stated its view that the EFSM is legally unsound; and requires the Government to place the EFSM on the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council and to vote against continued use of the EFSM unless a Eurozone-only arrangement which relieves the UK of liability under the EFSM has by then been agreed.

In my view, this is quite right. Parliament exists to restrain the tendency of the Crown to expropriate the wealth of the British people.  The people long since asserted their sovereignty in this country: it is by consent that we have a monarch and a Parliament. We are here to require the Crown to act in certain ways.

Nevertheless, the following amendment has been brought forward to give the Government masses of wriggle room:

Line 9, leave out from ‘unsound’ to end and add ‘urges the Government to raise the issue of the EFSM at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers or the European Council; and supports any measures which would lead to an agreement for a Eurozone-only arrangement.’.

A larger number of colleagues have signed the amendment than the original motion which it spoils. So much for Parliament asserting itself.

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