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Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I would not normally do this, but I wanted to make it plain that I was aware of the discussions that had taken place with Bob Ainsworth, the Minister in another place. I simply repeat the offer: we have not had any response or reaction from sporting bodies since then but, if there is a continued and perceived need for further discussions, of course we stand ready to have them.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, that is a very helpful intervention. I am sure my noble friend Lord Moynihan will bring that to the attention of the relevant bodies, in both motor sport and the Olympics. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 185 not moved.]

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Lord Pearson of Rannoch moved Amendment No. 186:

    After Clause 67, insert the following new clause—

For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that nothing in this Act shall permit the extradition to or from the United Kingdom of any person accused of insulting or undermining the European Union or any symbols of the European Union."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I moved a similar amendment to this in Grand Committee in the Moses Room on 3rd June—as reported at cols. GC 175 to 180 of the Official Report. It was generally supported by my noble friend Lady Anelay from our Front Bench and by the noble Lords, Lord Wedderburn and Lord Stoddart of Swindon, the latter of whom asks me to apologise for his absence tonight, as, indeed, does the noble Lord, Lord Monson, who has also put his name to the amendment.

The Minister, the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, said that the best answer he could give at the time was that the Government did not think it would be possible to designate the EU itself, or any EU institution, as a Part 1 or, indeed, Part 2 territory because the EU did not constitute a territory, as required by Clause 1 of the Bill. However, he was good enough to say that he would reflect on what had been said to see whether the amendment needed a fuller response at that stage. Not surprisingly, I have heard nothing from the noble Lord and so assume that that remains the Government's position.

But things have moved on in Brussels since 3rd June, and I submit that the final content of M Giscard d'Estaing's proposals for the future constitution of the European Union strengthens rather than diminishes the need for this amendment. For example, on 3rd June I predicted that the Giscard convention would propose that the EU flag would acquire the status of a national flag—or, rather, a status superior to national flags, as we shall see—and that Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" would suffer the ignominy of becoming the new EU megastate's national anthem. I reminded your Lordships that it is already an offence in France to insult the president and, I believe, to whistle or show disrespect during the French national anthem. Of course, we all know the formative influence which the French have on EU legislation.

Sure enough, at the convention's very last session, the Eurocrats managed to slip in a new Article IV-1 under Part IV—"General and Final Provisions". It states:

    "The flag of the Union shall be a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background. The anthem of the Union shall be based on the Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. The motto of the Union shall be: United in diversity. The currency of the Union shall be the euro".

I do not know whether the Treasury has spotted that one but no doubt it will have a look at it. Finally, it states:

    "9 May shall be celebrated throughout the Union as Europe day".

I am not pretending that I was particularly clever to forecast this development. Bitter experience has taught me over many years that the ratchet towards the

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creation of the corrupt, undemocratic EU megastate grinds only in one direction; indeed, the treaties say that it cannot be otherwise.

And so one learns that it is always wrong to think that surely the EU cannot be planning some ghastly new accretion of its powers. It always has been and always will be planning just such an accretion, and it will always get there, step by step, by unlocking doors in the various treaty renegotiations which may still appear shut to people unversed in its ways but through which the integrationists will later walk when the treaty has been ratified.

So I am reasonably sure that that is the process that we are looking at now. I fear that the noble Baroness, the Minister—or the noble Lord, the Minister; I do not know with whom we are to be honoured—will repeat that the EU is not a country and so one cannot be extradited to it for committing racism and xenophobia against it, for example (or whatever the crime may turn out to be), and therefore the amendment is unnecessary.

But we now know that other disturbing proposals from the Giscard convention have not only been confirmed in its final draft but have already been accepted by the Government and, as far as I can see, by most other European states, if not all. As far as I know—no doubt the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—they do not form part of the Government's famous red lines, which are not really red lines at all; they are just patsies set up to be heroically knocked down by the Government in the forthcoming IGC. These disturbing proposals include Article I-6 of the draft constitutional treaty, which states simply that the Union shall have legal personality. That is new and the Government appear to have accepted it. Hence the flag and the anthem, of course. One cannot imagine the United States of America without its flag and its anthem.

Article I-10 is delightfully clear in explaining the status of this new personality, as I mentioned in Committee. That states:

    "The constitution, and law adopted by the Union's Institutions in exercising competencies conferred upon it, shall have primacy over the law of the Member States".

So this new European Union, with its new legal personality, now resplendent with its flag and anthem, not to mention its own Parliament, executive, Supreme Court, currency, foreign policy, police force, legal and tax systems, will have primacy over the law of member states. There is also Article I-12-2, which I also quoted in Committee. That states:

    "The Union shall have exclusive competence for the conclusion of an international agreement when its conclusion is provided for in a legislative act of the Union, is necessary to enable it to exercise its internal competence, or affects an internal Union Act".

I confess that this article is couched in classical EU double-speak so it is very hard to know exactly what it means. But there are those better versed in EU verbiage than me who believe that it may be the back door which opens the whole of justice and home affairs to eventual control by Brussels. This evening perhaps the Minister can explain what it really does mean and what its limitations are, if any.

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Whatever the answer to that, I should repeat a quote from the noble Baroness, Lady Symons of Vernham Dean, earlier this year, when the Government indicated that they might resist the EU's proposed new superior legal personality. The noble Baroness said:

    "Conferring a single personality on the Union would give it the capacity to act within the legal system distinctly from the states that are its members. . . . In practice that would mean that the EU would have a capacity to make treaties, to sue and be sued and to become a member of international organisations".—[Official Report, 20/3/03; col. 377.]

To sue and be sued: that seems quite relevant to this amendment, does it not? Surely it does not take much imagination to see that the EU, with all these new powers, will eventually be able to add itself to the list of countries or legal personalities to which one can be extradited for committing the crime of xenophobia against it.

The amendment seeks to make that impossible, at least through this Bill, as far as the United Kingdom is concerned. I look forward to a somewhat fuller reply from the Minister than her colleague was able to give in Committee. I beg to move.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: My Lords, I rise briefly to welcome the fact that my noble friend has given the Government a fuller opportunity to respond to the serious point of what the implications of the legal personality of the EU will be for extradition. I fully hope and expect that the Minister will say that the EU cannot now, nor at any stage in the future will be able to, act independently to become a member of Part 1 countries and then to exercise or issue European arrest warrants.

My noble friend goes to the heart of the problem as to what the EU comprises: whether it is the sum of its constituent parts or whether it takes on a character much greater than that.

9 p.m.

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I say straightaway that the noble Lord, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, never disappoints. Therefore, it was with a great deal of pleasure that I listened to the noble Lord's enunciation of his vision of Europe. I am afraid that I did not recognise it, but, none the less, I appreciated the vision.

It is very difficult to respond to the noble Lord at this stage as he conflates a number of issues. In due course we will have an opportunity—I anticipate an extensive opportunity—to discuss the final outcome of the intergovernmental conference which is now taking place at a series of meetings in Rome. We know not whether they will conclude in time to meet the end of the Italian presidency. The issues raised by the noble Lord are all matters currently under discussion. Nothing is settled and the noble Lord knows that well.

I wondered at one stage whether the noble Lord sought to make an illusion because he referred to patsies set up to be knocked down. I was one of those who represented our government at the convention and I am sure the noble Lord was not referring to me.

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I would like to thank the noble Lord seriously for the points he made. Perhaps I may direct my attention to the import of his amendment because there is a serious issue here. The noble Lord seemed to envisage a world where criminal law is harmonised throughout the EU and where Europol will come knocking on our doors to arrest and extradite people for anti-EU crimes.

I am afraid that that is not a world I recognise. The Government remain opposed to the idea of a European corpus juris, which is an entirely different concept from the European arrest warrant. Europol has no operational or coercive powers. That is the reality and we have no plans for that to change.

Apart from that, there has never been any suggestion that the European arrest warrant, or any other measure, should be used to arrest or extradite people for indicating any kind of opposition to the EU. That is a concept—invented and perpetrated by those who wish to oppose the European arrest warrant and the Bill—which has absolutely no foundation.

I am sure the noble Lord in tabling the amendment was merely seeking to protect the liberty of those who—like himself—take exception to the EU and what it does. Your Lordships will see that I am seeking to reply to the amendment as opposed to the way in which the noble Lord moved it. Clearly, the Government are completely at odds with those who would put the case differently.

It is quite clear that the noble Lord feels a certain degree of passion on the issue. The amendment states that no person should be extradited to or from the United Kingdom for insulting or opposing the European Union. I do not believe there has ever been a suggestion that any person should be extradited for such conduct, but that is what the amendment says.

Having listened to the noble Lord, I presume that he does not wish to press the amendment, but that he really wants to use it as a stalking horse to put his various concerns on record. Obviously, I have fully taken into account everything that he said.

The amendment does not address the issue of the EU's legal personality. However, the answer remains the same: the EU will never be designated as an extradition partner of the UK.

I hope that response helps the noble Lord. I could doubtless entertain your Lordships' House for some time, but I shall resist the temptation.

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