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Orders of the Day — European Assembly Elections Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1977.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott , Kingston upon Hull East 12:00 am, 7th July 1977

Let me make clear at the outset that I speak purely for myself on this matter. I say that since I have the honour of being elected what is euphemistically known as the leader of the Labour delegation to the European Assembly, and that delegation reflects the divisions which exist throughout the Labour Party.

The vital principle of the Bill involves the election of representatives to the Assembly of the European Community. The right hon. and learned Member for Hexham (Mr. Rippon) made considerable play of the fact that the division of opinion within the Labour Party somehow reflected upon Britain's credibility abroad. But Britain's credibility is harmed as much in Europe by actions such as that of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, who came to the Assembly having accepted a negotiated fishing agreement and then began to renounce it in his first speech there. Clearly that sort of behaviour does no good to our credibility.