European Union Economic Governance — 10 Nov 2010 at 18:30

The majority of MPs approved the Government's position that any sanctions proposed by the EU in relation to economic governance do not apply to the UK.

The approved motion stated:

  • That this House:
  • takes note of European Union Documents
  • (a) 9433/10, Commission Communication on reinforcing economic policy co-ordination,
  • (b) 11807/10, Commission Communication on enhancing economic policy co-ordination for stability, growth and jobs - tools for stronger EU economic governance,
  • (c) 14496/10, Proposal for a Council Regulation (EU) amending Regulation (EC) No. 1467/97 on speeding up and clarifying the implementation of the excessive deficit procedure,
  • (d) 14497/10, Proposal for a Council Directive on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States,
  • (e) 14498/10, Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the effective enforcement of budgetary surveillance in the euro area,
  • (f) 14512/10, Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on enforcement measures to correct excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area,
  • (g) 14515/10, Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances, and
  • (h) 14520/10, Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No. 1466/97 on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and co-ordination of economic policies;
  • notes the Report from the Task Force on Economic Governance in the European Union;
  • notes with approval that budgetary and fiscal information will continue to be presented to Parliament before being given to EU20 institutions; and
  • approves the Government's position, as endorsed by the Task Force that any sanctions proposed should not apply to the United Kingdom in consideration of Protocol 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

The Minister introducing the motion, Conservative MP Mark Hoban the Financial Secretary to The Treasury said[1]:

  • People should listen and read the documents to which we have subscribed, and understand how firm and robust the Government have been in defending our economic sovereignty.

During debate some of his fellow Conservatives expressed doubts, John Redwood MP said[2]:

  • Surely the Minister must confirm that that is a massive extension of European economic government, and the UK has to comply with a lot of it.

To which Minister Hoban responded: "we are exempt from the sanctions regime that the Commission and others have proposed, which applies only to eurozone countries."

Conservative MP Douglas Carswell claimed the UK was subjected to the new EU economic governance regime saying[3]:

  • Paragraph 34 of the Van Rompuy report states that there will be a new legal framework
  • "applying to all EU Member States".
  • Can the Minister explain what part of "all" excludes Britain?

Mr Carswell explained his vote saying:

  • I cannot support the motion, as it will mean a further transfer of powers from this country to Brussels.

Presumably other MPs, who believe the minister, and oppose the transfer of powers from the UK to Brussels might have voted for the motion, which as written merely: "approves the Government's position that any sanctions proposed by the EU in relation to economic governance do not apply to the UK".

It is only the approves element of the motion which actually expresses a position; the other parts of the motion are merely noting items; they are not the operative phrases.

Some MPs such as Mr Carswell appear to have taken a different view on what they were voting on; they appear to have interpreted the vote as being on the content of all the documents cited in the motion.

As the motion stated the Government is taking a "position"; it indicates that it the Government stance is at odds with another viewpoint and implies the matter of if the UK is subject to EU economic governance sanctions is a matter for debate. MPs supporting this motion appear to be supporting the Government in opposing the EU having the power to apply sanctions to the UK in relation to economic governance issues. Despite motion being on support for Government taking a conservative stance towards the EU in this division Euroskeptic Conservative MPs like Mr Redwood and Mr Carswell have voted against their Government.

Three strongly euroskeptic amendments to the motion were proposed, but were not selected for debate by the speaker.[4]

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con244 (+2 tell) 23 (+2 tell)088.6%
DUP0 5062.5%
Green1 00100.0%
Lab1 1205.1%
LDem48 0084.2%
SDLP1 0033.3%
Total:296 40053.7%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Steven BakerWycombeCon (front bench)no
Brian BinleyNorthampton SouthCon (front bench)no
Peter BoneWellingboroughCon (front bench)tellno
Andrew BridgenNorth West LeicestershireCon (front bench)no
Douglas CarswellClactonConno
Bill CashStoneCon (front bench)no
Christopher ChopeChristchurchCon (front bench)no
James ClappisonHertsmereCon (front bench)no
Philip DaviesShipleyCon (front bench)no
David DavisHaltemprice and HowdenConno
Richard DraxSouth DorsetCon (front bench)no
James GrayNorth WiltshireCon (front bench)no
Gordon HendersonSittingbourne and SheppeyCon (front bench)no
Philip HolloboneKetteringCon (front bench)no
Julian LewisNew Forest EastCon (front bench)no
Jason McCartneyColne ValleyConno
David NuttallBury NorthCon (front bench)no
Andrew PercyBrigg and GooleCon (front bench)no
Dominic RaabEsher and WaltonCon (front bench)no
Mark RecklessRochester and StroodCon (front bench)tellno
John RedwoodWokinghamConno
Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsCon (front bench)no
Peter TapsellLouth and HorncastleCon (front bench)no
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightCon (front bench)no
Martin VickersCleethorpesConno
Paul FlynnNewport WestLab (minister)aye

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