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Parliamentary Sovereignty

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 22nd January 1988.

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Photo of Mr Teddy Taylor Mr Teddy Taylor , Southend East 2:45 pm, 22nd January 1988

I have given my hon. Friend the figures that were given by my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Sadly, our share of the market for manufactured goods of the original Six, including Germany, was 6 per cent. when we joined the EEC, but it is now 7 per cent. As my hon. Friend is interested in our trade figures with Germany, our deficit with it is greater than any other country and is more than twice our deficit with Japan. When some of my hon. Friends bray their Common Market slogans, I wish they would consider some of the facts.

When the Government talk about contributions, they refer only to our huge rebates. They do not accept that, after rebates, according to the Chancellor's statement, our contributions are at an all-time high.

When we mention the waste, scandals and frauds of the CAP, the Government say that reform is round the corner. In reality, pledges of reform, which never happens. are simply an excuse to give more money to the Common Market to waste. When stuck for an argument, they say that the Common Market has brought peace to Europe, without mentioning the fact that defence is the job of NATO or that the one sector in which the EEC has no authority is defence.

There is a rising tide of concern in the United Kingdom about the activities of the EEC, its bungling, waste, bureaucracy and transfer of power from elected to nonelected bodies. We can do something about it. The time to do so is 10 February, when the European Council will ask for another gigantic cash injection. Will we stand firm and demand reform instead? Or will we simply pour in the cash by means of the so-called fourth resource in exchange for a package of worthless promises and silly ideas such as the so-called set-aside, which has been tried in America with disastrous effect and at a huge cost?

On 10 February we shall know whether the Government are facing reality or whether we shall simply hear more slogans, hopes and tragedies.