Odds and ends have been leaking out about Margaret Beckett preventing Geoff Hoon answering Parliamentary Questions on Europe on Tuesday this week – it even ended up at PMQs yesterday (see this amusing account from The Guardian). Hoon has also been in hot water for stating his hope that we might send plenty of our journalists off to Germany.
But he says good things too – he’s risked the ire of British eurosceptics in a speech yesterday in which he said:
“To do nothing on improving the EU’s decision-making could jeopardise the liberalisation of our markets, the benefits to consumers, tackling climate change and the enlargement process.”
I can’t find the whole text of the speech online, but an article about it is here. Would Beckett agree? You do wonder quite what Hoon means with those lines though. The EU has codecision in all single market areas, and on environmental and energy policy. The only main areas with a veto are taxation, CFSP, agriculture and police/judicial cooperation. So does he mean that he is in favour of changing the Nice Treaty voting arrangements? Or maybe I am just reading too much into his words.