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 Mike Gapes Mike Gapes , Ilford South 5:30 pm, 4th March 1993

Does my hon. Friend agree that the interpretation of federalism in the Federal Republic of Germany is not centralised union or a super-state? It is inaccurate, therefore, to suggest that the European concept was based on a centralised European super-state. The concept of Europe is clearly different in various countries, but the German federal model, which owes much to the democratic changes that were made by British and other occupation forces after the second world war, is one of decentralisation without a centralised super-state.

Does my hon. Friend further agree that, unlike last year's Conservative party conference, the Labour party conference held a vote on whether to endorse the Maastricht treaty? It said that the treaty was the best obtainable measure, whereas the Conservative party uses a clapometer to gauge how many people applaud Norman Tebbit and how many—