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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 Geoffrey Rippon Mr Geoffrey Rippon , Hexham 12:00 am, 13th July 1972

It is a matter fox Parliament. It is a matter for consideration as parliamentary procedure, over which the House is its own master. For that reason, and because it is not appropriate to be put into the Bill—and the Com- mittee accepted that—I hope that the Opposition will now co-operate with the proposed inquiry. Certainly this is a matter in which Parliament could set an example to the rest of the country by showing its willingness to embark upon a practical examination of the issues involved.

Some right hon. and hon. Members have raised again their dissatisfaction with the terms. I cannot dwell upon them tonight. It is right that I should say categorically on this occasion that we stand by the terms as the best available on the basis of the hand dealt us by the previous Government—a hand which we supported, a hand which was based on the acceptance of all three treaties and all that flowed from them, subject to satisfactory transitional arrangements, except for those matters on which we put down markers and about which we have spoken often in the House and said that something more than transitional arrangements would be required. We stand by the terms as decisively supported by the House on 28th October.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton, and other right hon. and hon. Members, raised the question of the effect of floating on our balance of payments costs. At present, there is no need to depart from the estimates in the July White Paper.