Graham Brady Says Miliband, Cash & Redwood Wrong

In an interview with GMTV’s David Mills* the Tory Shadow Europe Minister Graham Brady contradicts claims from Bill Cash and John Redwood that the Conservatives voted to assert the primacy of British over EU law in a vote on the Regulatory Reform Bill. Brady countered that

…the primacy of EU law only happens because of the act of Parliament, there’s a very long standing principle that British law and British parliament are sovereign, we allow EU law to take precedence and all that amendment would have done really is crystallise and clarify the current legal situation whereby if Parliament chose to legislate in a way that was contrary to EU law then that should take precedence, so it was a clarification of the law, it was not a statement of intent or policy of unilateral action contrary to EU law.

GMTV: That’s your interpretation, but Bill Cash and John Redwood and others who take a very close look at European policy in your party, they think it’s very significant.

Well as I said what we weren’t doing was setting about a policy of unilateral action and contravention of EU law, what we were doing and which isn’t new, was accepting the current legal position that Britain’s parliament was sovereign and that’s something we hold very dear as Conservatives and it’s important to us, and it’s important that the British electorate should know that their parliament is sovereign and ultimately can prevail. That doesn’t mean that we’re setting about contradicting EU law, it simply makes it very clear what the situation would be if that were to happen.

In the Guardian David Miliband hyped up a claim that this increasingly controversial vote signalled that the Tories were willing to withdraw from the EU. Does anyone have a definitive answer? C’mon Euro-obssessives, what does it really mean? Is parliament still sovereign or not? If it already is, what was the point of the Tory amendment?

*To be broadcast tomorrow.




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