Hague wants Commons veto on EU law

By politics.co.uk staff

MPs should be able to block EU laws outright if they are opposed by the Commons, William Hague is expected to argue later.

The foreign secretary will use a speech to a German think-tank to call for a 'red card' system allowing national parliaments to overrule the European parliament.

Such a move is unlikely to be agreed to without resistance from the European parliament.

But Hague will argue that turnout for European elections is falling despite the gradual increase in the powers of EU laws.

"The answer lies in national governments and national parliaments. We need to give them more powers to do things better," a source close to Hague told the Mail newspaper.

A yellow card system already exists which allows national parliaments to protest. It forces the European parliament to think again but cannot override its reconsidered view.

"We need a better mechanism to get national parliaments working together," the source added.

"The EU system at the moment is great at centralising power and hopeless at decentralising. The Commission is great at sucking up powers and hopeless at giving them back."

Hague's proposal is the first major request from the British government ahead of its renegotiation, which David Cameron has pledged will culminate in an in-or-out referendum by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next general election.