Sir, The EU (Implications of Withdrawal) Bill will receive its second reading on Friday. It would, if passed, establish the first independent committee of inquiry into the impact of Britain’s EU membership on our economy, constitution and security. The Bill does not advocate leaving the EU; it merely seeks to establish what are the effects of our membership.
Given that the EU is involved in controlling our trade, immigration, business regulation, environment, farming and fisheries, it is remarkable that such an inquiry has not been established before. A Parliament with regard to any one of these national interests would reasonably be expected to be aware of the detailed impact of these policies. Yet such work is left to limited coverage by think-tanks, pressure groups and individual academics. After years of debate, it is surely essential to set up an official, independent body to publish the facts of our relationship with the EU.
Lord Tebbit of Chingford (Con) | Lord Vinson of Roddam Dene (Con) | Lord Waddington of Read (Con) | Lord Willoughby de Broke (UKIP) | Lady Saltoun of Abernethy (Crossbench) | Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Independent Labour) | Austin Mitchell MP (Lab) | Douglas Carswell MP (Con) | Philip Davies MP (Con) | Philip Hollobone MP (Con) | Bob Spink MP (Con) | Sir Nicholas Winterton MP (Con) | Ann Winterton MP (Con) | Nigel Farage MEP (UKIP) | Dr John Whittaker MEP (UKIP) | Roger Helmer MEP (Con) | Jim Allister MEP (Ind) | Lord Swinfen of Chertsey (Con) | Daniel Hannan MEP (Con)
Naturally, I am looking forward to our various politicans' reactions; wouldn't it be lovely if even one party backed this Bill? After all, even if the benefits of the EU are self-evident to Oliver Letwin they certainly are not to your humble Devil.
But, of course, were we to have an independent commission to examine provide a cost/benefit analysis, the question would surely be settled. My readers will know what my opinion is and it is for this reason that MPs will ensure that the Bill never gets through, but it's always worth a try.