Andrew Tyrie MP wrote to the The Times on Prime Minister David Cameron's EU renegotiation efforts, 11 November 2015.
Sir, The government needs to give more detail on how it intends to give substance to the proposal to end Britain’s commitment to “ever-closer union”, thereby providing meaningful protection against the EU’s integrationist ratchet. This may require radical changes to the EU’s opaque decision-making machinery to ensure that, over time, the body of existing laws — the acquis — and all future legislative proposals are more vigorously scrutinised, in turn enabling more repatriation of competences and powers. I set out one means of accomplishing this in Ending the Ratchet (CPS, 2015). Only where collective action provides demonstrable benefits to member states should the EU be empowered. A well-put reform case will be very difficult for integrationists to answer.
The government will understandably be reluctant to show more of its hand on the grounds that not delivering everything could subsequently be construed as a “failure” of the negotiations. That would be a mistake. Neither parliament nor the public should expect the government to secure all its demands, as in any international negotiation; but more clarity in this area of reform should strengthen its negotiating position.
Andrew Tyrie, MP (Con)
Chairman, Treasury select committee