In their general election manifesto, the Tories promised a raft of legislation to protect British sovereignty from the ogres in Brussels.
It was a purely political move, designed to mop up a few right-wing votes. In practical terms it is largely meaningless; if sovereignty is transferring anywhere, it is from Parliament to the Government, given that most new rules these days are simply enacted by the Government through secondary legislation. In any case, yesterday’s debate on the new European Union Bill is the result.
Now nothing brings out rambling, jingoistic, and self-serving speeches, like a bill on the European Union, but Bill Cash, Conservative MP for Stone, managed to raise the genre to new heights. His main point seemed to be that the bill that Parliament should be sovereign because people ‘fought and died’ for parliamentary sovereignty. In fact, he liked this argument so much, that he topped and tailed his speech with it.
But of course people have fought and died for all kinds of rubbish, including Slavery, Fascism, Apartheid, even during the English civil war for, er, the abolition of Parliamentary sovereignty.
Of course, it is a stupid bill, but only because it’s trying to wallpaper over an extremely stupid manifesto pledge. But god is it fun to watch the Tory Euro-nutters tear their party to bits!