Eurosceptic's warning on EU treaty
The Government is acting in a "profoundly unwise" way over the European Union's new fiscal pact, the Tory Eurosceptic chairman of a parliamentary committee has said.
Bill Cash said the Government was taking both political and legal risks by suggesting the need for action while failing to explain how it will carry it through or what concessions it seeks.
Mr Cash, Conservative MP for Stone, spoke out as the European Scrutiny Committee, which he chairs, published a report into the Stability, Co-ordination and Governance Treaty - intended to resolve the crisis in the eurozone and backed by 25 of 27 EU governments, but rejected by the UK.
The committee warns that the treaty may be "politically impossible to enforce" and that while such an outcome may be undesirable, "some form of breakdown of the eurozone clearly remains possible".
The committee said it felt the UK Government should view the treaty as unlawful because it does not enjoy unanimous support of all 27 EU members, as required by EU treaties.
And Mr Cash said: "Politically and legally, it is profoundly unwise for the Government to suggest taking action, and then not to explain how it intends to carry it through, or what concessions are now being sought and achieved.
"The approach to this treaty provides further and ever more disturbing evidence of the European Union, in the context of increasingly coercive attitudes by Germany and France and the European establishment in pursuit of further and deeper political and legal integration, dangerously ignoring its own precepts for political ends.
"This is despite France and Germany's own original failure over the Stability and Growth Pact. The Government must clearly state as soon as possible what action it now intends to take on the treaty."
The report endorses Prime Minister David Cameron's "veto" of the treaty at a meeting of European leaders in December.
And in a statement launching the report, it said: "The committee notes there is an increasing tendency for the EU to propound the virtues of the rule of law but not to apply it in practice."