Under attack in the House of Commons on Monday by Tory accountant MP David Heathcoat-Amory, the prime minister was accused of performing a u-turn on one of his much vaunted ‘red-line’ issues.
Blair responded by saying that a prosecutor was needed to deal with financial crime within the EU. ‘There is a need to deal with issues to do with fraud and accountancy problems in the EU, so how on earth does it help for us to disappear off into the sidelines of Europe?’ said Blair.
In an historic agreement, which prompted much criticism from the Tory party, the prime minister agreed the terms of the new constitution after prolonged negotiations at the weekend.
Heathcoat-Amory attacked the prime minister for his change of heart.
‘It was an unambiguous government red line. Now the government have accepted it, and I understand it was not even raised during the final negotiations.
‘Does the government’s pledge to hold a referendum have the same status – in other words, is it a firm and unambiguous pledge that is abandoned when it gets difficult for the government?’ he said.
Heathcoat-Amory pointed out that one of the 250 amendments tabled by the UK government to the new constitution demanded the removal of all references to the public prosecutor. He said Blair’s change of heart meant that EU institutions has gained at the expense of national parliaments.
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...
The EC has been instructed to draft a European Union (EU) directive authorising an EU financial transaction tax, which would apply to ten of the EU’s 28 member states
Accountancy watchdog the FRC has dropped its investigation into the former chief financial officer of Tesco, nearly two years after the supermarket was engulfed in an accounting scandal
Colin imagines how Apple's logo might change in the wake of the EC's ruling over its Irish tax arrangements