Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr George Robertson Mr George Robertson , Hamilton 5:30 pm, 4th March 1993

That depends on what is meant by federalism. That is one of the great problems with such an emotive word. In the past, the word has confused rather than illuminated debate. For many of our continental partners, federalism means precisely the decentralisation of which my hon. Friend speaks; it means a separation of the powers. If that is the context within which it is debated and discussed, we would all go along with that. We have no interest in a unitary European state. We want no united states of Europe that is built on some sort of central power. I do not believe that the majority of people in Europe have any interest in anything like that either. Their cherishing of their individual national identities and institutions is as great as that of anybody in the House.