HC Deb 21 May 1992 vol 208 c206W
Mr. Cash

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates the treaty on European union signed at Maastricht on 7 February and laid before Parliament on 6 May,(a) comes into effect or (b) is ratified as respects (a) the Preamble, (b) Title I (Common Provisions), (c) Title V (Provisions on a Common Foreign and Security Policy), (d) Title VI (Provisions on Co-operation in the field of Justice and Foreign Affairs), and (e) Title VII (Final Provisions); whether the Ponsonby rule applies to (i) the whole of that treaty, (ii) certain provisions of that treaty and in the case of (ii) if he will specify which provisions.

Mr. Garel-Jones

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that I gave on 14 May to the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing). The treaty on European union can be ratified only in its entirety; there is no procedure for ratifying different parts. Provided that Parliament has passed the necessary legislation in respect of the titles amending the Community treaties, an instrument of ratification will be deposited with the Italian Government in accordance with article R of the treaty.

Since it is a treaty signed subject to ratification, the Ponsonby rule will apply to the union treaty as a whole. The rule requires that such a treaty should not be ratified until 21 days after it has been laid before the House following signature. This requirement will have been more than fulfilled.