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Orders of the Day — European Communities Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1972.

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Photo of Mr Harold Lever Mr Harold Lever , Manchester Cheetham 12:00 am, 13th July 1972

Of course, The great thing about the Common Market rules is that Governments cannot be the convenient judges of what they do or whether it is right or wrong. What they have agreed to do stands. Whether they are doing what they ought to do under their agreement will be decided not by the Governments themselves, but by the courts of their lands. So it will be by the courts of our own land. That is not a matter to regret. That is a remarkable advance in the mechanism for giving effect to collective agreements.

I wish to conclude by drawing attention to what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). He seemed to highlight in superb hyperbole the difference between those of us who go into this venture with high expectations, though not without deep anxieties about the difficulties and problems ahead, and those who see the whole thing as an anathema, something which will be devastatingly harmful to the people of this country.

My hon. Friend committed himself to saying that entry into Europe on these terms would be the equivalent for Britain of the Munich of pre-war.