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Bill Cash: the charter binds the Supreme Court without further appeal and has precedence over UK national law and can be used to disapply national legislation
Bill Cash has the following letter in The Telegraph today: Image (1034)
Margarida Vasconcelos:The financial crisis has progressively increased the European Commission powers

The Financial Times reports: “A former adviser to European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has accused the commission of embracing Germany’s austerity-focused response to the eurozone debt crisis in a “strategic” bid to enhance its own powers.” In fact, the sovereign debt crisis has opened the door for further economic and fiscal policy integration.

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Bill Cash: Parliament will simply be asked to rubber stamp the outcome of negotiations that are being held behind closed doors and hidden from the searching gaze of the public and Parliament

The House of Commons debated yesterday the UK’s 2014 justice and home affairs opt-out decision. Bill Cash made the following speech and interventions:

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Margarida Vasconcelos: MEPs voted in favour discharging the EU budget

The European Parliament is the discharge authority. Each year it must close the financial year on the basis of the recommendation of the Council and the Statement of Assurance (DAS) provided by the Court of Auditors. By granting a discharge the European Parliament approves the implementation of the budget in respect of the relevant financial year. Hence, the MEPs declare that a particular EU institution or agency has spent EU taxpayers’ money in line with EU rules that govern the implementation of the EU budget. It is well known that the European Court of Auditors for the 19th year in a row has not given the EU’s accounts a clean bill of health. Yet, the European Parliament has recently given discharge to the Commission for implementation of the EU’s budget for 2012.

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Margarida Vasconcelos: the European Investigation Order set to enter into force

The Council has recently adopted a directive regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters. The draft directive would create a single instrument for obtaining evidence located in another Member State in the framework of criminal proceedings - the so-called European Investigation Order.

The Government was successful in introducing important changes to the original proposal nevertheless UK authorities will be obliged to provide information about British citizens including bank accounts, as any judicial authority from any EU member state may ask the UK police to gather any criminal evidence. In fact, issuing authorities from other member states would be able to give instructions to the UK police officers. The EIO provides police and prosecution authorities from EU member states with the power to demand UK police forces to gather and share evidence with them within mandatory time limits.

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The European Scrutiny Committee urges the Government to amend the European Communities Act 1972 to exclude the applicability of the Charter in the UK

The European Scrutiny Committee published today its report “The application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the UK: a state of confusion”. The Report main aim is to clarify the role of the Charter in the UK.

Bill Cash, Chairman of the Committee, said, “The Committee’s inquiry has revealed that the Charter does apply in the UK and will affect how existing fundamental rights are applied here. The inference from the Secretary of State for Justice’s evidence is that he, like me, is not content with this, but it is not clear what the Government is going to do about it. In my view it is essential that Ministers act to make clear beyond any doubt that the Charter will not in future apply in the UK, in particular through an amendment to the European Communities Act 1972.”

The European Scrutiny Committee reached the following conclusions:

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The Government is not offering full parliamentary involvement on the 2014 block opt-out decision

The European Scrutiny and the Home Affairs and Justice Committees have recently published a Joint Report, as both are “deeply disappointed by the Government's position”.

Following publication of the Government's Responses to their Reports on the 2014 block opt-out decision, the Chairs of the Committees sent a joint letter to the Home and Justice Secretaries showing their common concern on “the role of Parliament in scrutinising the Government's approach to the 2014 block opt-out decision” and stressing “the need for an early debate and vote on the measures the Government proposes to rejoin.” However, the Government has decided not to offer an early debate and vote on this major issue.

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Bill Cash asked David Cameron

Mr William Cash (Stone) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend immediately ensure—this has not happened so far, either in this statement or in those made by the Foreign Secretary over the past few weeks—that the House, and indeed the European Scrutiny Committee, is given a full and formal report explaining the foreign security and defence implications for the United Kingdom of the whole of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine, including the political chapters, and the implications of the final act endorsed by the presidency conclusions over the weekend, particularly given the crisis with Russia and the EU’s assertion that Ukraine still includes Crimea? What will the timetable and procedure be for parliamentary ratification of both, because it is understood that the political parts of the association agreement will take effect before parliamentary ratification?

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Bill Cash: Nigel Farage can't change anything

Following the debate with Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, Bill Cash said:

Nigel Farage “was trying to take away the votes in our marginal seats when we are the only people who can deliver the policy because we will have enough members in the House of Commons to win the general election to make the changes,"

"I think that actually the amount of coverage he gets, on the BBC for example, is monumental. He's on the whole time. It's to split the eurosceptic vote."

"The fact is we've [Tory MPs] done the work and actually he's getting all the airtime. He's getting a discorporate amount of attention given the fact he can't change anything."

Glen Ruffle: The tragedy that is British foreign policy

Recent photos from Krak de Chevaliers in Syria show the heart-breaking damage done to this world heritage crusader castle during the Syrian war. Journalists were enabled to visit the castle by pro-Assad government forces, who took it from the rebels the British government so wanted to help.

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Bill Cash has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stone since 1997 and an MP since 1984.

He is currently the Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee and the founder member of the European Foundation...

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