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'other than Article 2, paragraph 11'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 38'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 39'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 40'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 42'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 43'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 45'.
'other than Article 2, paragraph 46'.
'other than Article 3, paragraph 19'.
'other than Article 3, paragraph 20'.
'other than Article 3, paragraph 21'.
'other than Article 3, paragraph 22'.
'other than Article 3, paragraph 24'.
The First Deputy Chairman: Order. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman could help the Chair and explain how what he is now referring to relates to the amendment on various institutional matters. We are debating amendment No. 54.
Peter Hain: On a point of order, Mrs. Heal. With all due respect to the hon. Gentleman, whose diligence on these matters is well known, he is not speaking to the amendments and I respectfully suggest that either we should move immediately to a conclusion or that he should speak to the subject we are debating.
Mr. Cash: Under the circumstances, I am perfectly prepared to move on, as the Chair may request, but I believe that my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Mr. Spring) has some remarks to make on these provisions. By the time that he has finished, I will have had the opportunity to find the place in my notes. I understand what the Minister has said, and I am happy that my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk should take up the thread.
Amendment No. 39 relates to the new Social Protection Committee. We will be discussing social policy in connection with new clause 6 at a later date, so at this stage perhaps the Minister could provide us with some further information on the role of that Committee.
The issue arises from the Council decision of June 2000 setting up the Committee to strengthen co-operation on social protection policies. It is meant to promote exchanges of information, formulate opinions and the like. Its remit under the treaty has been expanded slightly, so that it will now be charged with monitoring the social situation in member states.
This would appear to be another example of Ministers' views evolving somewhat during the Nice discussions. The hon. Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman) asked the right hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood (Tessa Jowell), now the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, about the Social Protection Committee during a debate in European Standing Committee C in November. The right hon. Lady said the proposal for a
Perhaps the Minister could also set out how he sees two of the other Committees included in this group developing in future yearsnamely, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Both sets of members will now be appointed by qualified majority voting.
Finally, is it the intention that the role of the Committee of the Regions will increase? I appreciate that UK representatives on that Committee are all from local government, the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh or Northern Ireland Assemblies, but the same is not true of the appointments from other countries. There is some worry that the EU's concern for regions, including transnational regions, is intended to undermine Europe's national identities.
Does the Minister agree that genuine decentralisation should be to local government, and that regional government is more distant from local communities? Will he be cautious about any expansion in the role of regionalism in the European Union?
Denzil Davies: The first amendment in this group is No. 54. I have always found it useful if the hon. Member moving an amendment reads out the bit that locates the text to be amended. In this case, it is clause 1, page 1, line 9. The amendment states:
I think that paragraph 5 refers to article 100 in the consolidated treaty of the European Communities, which is to be replaced. Thanks to the bit of paper from the Foreign Office, I have found that as well. Basically, article
To contend that the supply of certain products might be in difficulty in this world of global capitalism is a strange concept. Which products are we talking about? I presume that the supply will be difficult within the European Union. Perhaps the article is referring to oil. I do not know. Apart from Britain, none of the EU member states produce crude oil. May we be told which products? The type of products must be in the mind of the person who drafted article 100. That person did not pick the words "certain products" out of the air. What on earth is the first paragraph of article 100 getting at?