Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr George Robertson Mr George Robertson , Hamilton 5:45 pm, 4th March 1993

I have been through all that before with my right hon. Friend. In the days when we used to agree, when we stood side by side in the internal battles in the Labour party of those times, we stood on defence and on protecting the cause of NATO, to which this country long ago voluntarily ceded one of the most important elements of sovereignty. Now, as ever, if there were an attack on one of the nation states in NATO the armed forces of all the nation states would automatically and immediately be put under an integrated military command. That is the principle—a principle which my right hon. Friend stood by, and one which we safeguarded within the Labour party at that time.

I believe, and I believe that my party believes, that we should cede sovereignty only where appropriate and relevant. That is what we have done in the past. Where sovereignty has been ceded, whether previously or now, we must ensure that we have created the democratic institutions in the Community that will give the people of Europe the right to say what the new laws will be.