HC Deb 05 November 1986 vol 103 c1057

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House takes note of European Community Documents Nos. 9453/83 on intra-Community trade in bovine and pig semen, 11403/85 on intra-Community trade in meat products, 6364/86, 6365/86, 6366/86 and 6367/86 concerning draft proposals for a new approach to harmonisation in the field of foodstuffs, and of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's unnumbered explanatory memorandum of 9th July 1986 on food flavourings; and of the Government's intention to pursue agreement to a procedure within the framework Directives which ensures that the interests of Member States are respected in subsequent Commission proposals.—[Mr. Maude.]

Mr. Teddy Taylor (Southend, East)

On a point of order Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise for not giving you notice of my point of order, but is the House competent to decide this measure under Standing Order No. 80(5)?

This is rather a dramatic constitutional measure because it provides the Commission with the power to make regulations without the approval of the Council of Ministers. It takes this power under the provisions of the Single European Act which becomes the law of the land under the European Communities Bill. But that Bill is not yet the law of this land. Could consideration be given over the next few days to whether it is competent for the House to consider an important constitutional measure of this nature under Standing Order No. 80(5) when the powers are derived from the European Communities Bill and the Single European Act, which is not yet the law of this land?

Paragraph 9 of document 6365/86 which is attached to the directive sets the matter out clearly. The document is signed by Lord Belstead. Over the next few days could consideration be given to whether it is lawful for this measure to be considered now when the additional powers being given to the Commission are in a Bill which has not yet received Royal Assent?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)

I am assured that the correct procedures have been followed in relation to the order and that it would be proper for me to put the matter to the House.

Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 80 (Standing Committees on European Community documents), and agreed to.