>From Gordon Brown: “We made it clear a few months ago, and this was a decision that we asked the European Union to make, that there would be no further constitutional and institutional change of that sort over the next ten years. So we made it absolutely clear that the European Union should not be contemplating further constitutional or institutional change in the way that is suggested.
As far as improving the way the European Union works I think there is a case for that improvement to happen and we will join those forces at work in this task-force to make sure that there is better and improved governing of the European Union, that’s what we will do.”
We’d better keep our eyes open for attached Protocols and footnotes of footnotes hidden in Appendices then!
He was responding to a question from Gisela Stuart (Lab, Birmingham Edgbaston): “There were reports in the press over the w/end that Angela Merkel is calling for an economic government. That would require Treaty changes. If this were to be the case could I press the Prime Minister to a commitment that that would also involve a referendum in this country.”
During his statement on the European Council Meeting this afternoon in the House Brown was back on form with the stuttering and false starts – the nutter with the stutter that we all remember. Cameron was tough, as usual, and Nick Clegg nibbled the ankles of both of them. Harriet seems to have a cold. Bercow told the PM to focus his replies (!)
Sir Peter Tatchell (Con. Louth & Horncastle) asked a similar question to Stuart – “… lead to Berlin being able to dictate British tax policy”. Brown: “That is not the proposal.”
Even Dennis Skinner (Lab, Bolsover) was sufficiently moved to stand and praise Brown for keeping Britain out of the euro.
Angus Robertson (SNP, Moray) once again attempted to get the PM to answer his question, first asked two weeks ago at PMQs, whether a No.10 staffer took part in a conference call discussing the suitability of Steven Purcell (ex-leader Glasgow CC) in July 2008. To shouts of, “Hey, hey,” and, “He’s running away,” Brown scurried, head down, out of the Chamber. Robertson raised it as a Point of Order, which it wasn’t, but at least it once again drew attention to Brown’s ability to avoid answering those questions he dislikes: which means pretty much all of them.