Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Government MP (One Of Many) Who Does Not Know Her Brief

Caroline Flint, Minister for Europe, made a startling admission during a European Committee session yesterday, in response to a question from a Conservative MP.

"Mr Francois: This is a really simple question: has the Minister read the elements of the Lisbon treaty that relate to defence?

Caroline Flint: I have read some of it but not all of it.

Mr Francois: What!

Caroline Flint: I have been briefed on some of it.

Caroline Flint may not have read the Treaty, but she has offered opinion on it readily: "I believe that the Lisbon treaty is good for the United Kingdom and good for Europe." "The Lisbon treaty provides a simpler, more streamlined EU." (Both House of Commons, 13 October 2008.)

Caroline Flint's response may have been considered 'extraordinary' by the questioner, possibly as 'extraordinary' as I found the same revelation by Ken Clarke all those years ago.

It is perhaps ironic that such 'astonishment' is expressed by a member of a party that will be campaigning in the forthcoming European elections to remain a member of the body about which they complain!