We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Orders of the Day — European Communities Bill

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Acton 12:00 am, 13th July 1972

The hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Selwyn Gummer) started his speech in an unfortunate way in referring to my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) and a plot. The Prime Minister said that the commitment was to negotiate, no more no less, yet it has transpired that the only negotiations which we have had are negotiations on the transitional period. Anybody reading the Conservative election manifesto would not have dreamed that that would be so. If there is a plot, it is a plot or an agreement that the Prime Minister knew all the time precisely what the negotiations were going to be about.

If that is not so, I hope the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will tell us why there was negotiation only on the transitional period and no more. The Government cannot have it both ways. Either the Prime Minister thought when he wrote the manifesto that there was going to be a wide range of negotiation, or he knew all the time that he was going to negotiate only on the transition. I hope it will be made clear which way it was.