Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch:
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford to Lord Tebbit on 10 November (WA 80), what areas of United Kingdom national sovereignty have been transferred to European Union competence since 1972 under (a) majority voting, and (b) unanimity, in the Council of Ministers; and what areas remain under the sole control of Parliament.[HL4192](My emphasis below):
So there it is in black and white, Conservative Lord Howell of Guildford admits that Parliament could say no but doesn't. We can remove ourselves from EU competences, and EU governance, (though now slightly more difficult) if only our MPs knew what a spine looks like.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): No areas of competence have been transferred from the UK to the EU under majority voting or unanimity in the Council of Ministers. The limits of EU competence are clearly set out in the EU treaties, and only an amendment of the EU treaties can transfer any competence to or from the EU.
Parliament is sovereign; and EU law has effect in the UK because-and solely because-Parliament wills that it should. The EU Bill currently before Parliament includes a clause which seeks to place on a statutory footing this common-law principle.