Council of Ministers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — European Community – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1979.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport 12:00 am, 17th January 1979

I think that all right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House must recognise certain facts. The majority of people in this country did not want to enter the EEC in 1972 and 1973. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen may wish to dispute that allegation, but that is my belief. I do not believe that politicians need to conduct referendums to determine political issues. We should be able to do that by exercising our judgment.

There has been a substantial change in the attitudes of people in this country since we have been a member of the Community. There are still disagreements—disagreements held by supporters of the Conservative Party and of the Labour Party—about the advisability of our entry, but most people are determined to make a useful, sensible contribution to the European Community. I believe that is what we should do, and, in doing it, we should not be afraid to stand up for a legitimate national interest.