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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

I am sorry to have taken so long and that the sensitivity to the length of my speech should grow with the gap in opinion between myself and my hon. Friend. I have been giving way, because I thought it only fair in this debate.

The peoples of Europe as a whole value us not for any plunder they can get, not because they think they can enslave us, but because they think we have a unique contribution to make to the future of Europe precisely in its parliamentary institutions and democratic future. The social democratic parties in Europe—I address this specifically to my hon. Friends—without exception want us in this complex because they believe that Europe will witness a social transformation, an immense advance in social justice, in the years ahead. They believe that not only the people of Britain, but, more particularly, the socialists of Britain, have a unique contribution to make to that social transformation.