Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Richard Body Mr Richard Body , Holland with Boston 6:15 pm, 4th March 1993

Does my hon. Friend agree that the essence of democracy is accountability? Each Member of the European Parliament is to represent 500,000 people. If we eventually have a far wider Europe of some 35 countries, as some of us wish, each Member will have to represent 1 million electors. Can we believe that those who seek to represent 500,000 people can do so in full justification? Will they make themselves accountable?

I find it difficult to represent 70,000 people and to be accountable to that number. To be accountable to 500,000 people is a sheer impossibility. There is the added danger that, in seeking to represent that 500,000, one would tend to meet only those who had most influence and power in the constituency, and such people would be manifestly unrepresentative of the whole.