I very much agree with the sentiment expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Holland with Boston (Sir R. Body). When people come to see us at our surgeries, there is direct contact which is immensely important to our constituents. With the best will in the world, it is impossible for Members of the European Parliament to perform a similar function.
There is a further problem about scale, as my hon. Friend rightly said. The remoteness of people from Parliament will be a massive problem. It is utterly irresponsible of those who advocate the new arrangements to duck the question, not to take part in these debates and to attempt to obfuscate and to camouflage what is really going on. When the central banking arrangement for the whole of Europe comes into effect, it will affect the voters,, and there will have been no compensation, for good reasons, in terms of an increase in the powers of the European Parliament.
These powers, important though they are, would not go anything like far enough for those who advocate a federal system. Therefore, the democratic deficit would be increased, but the amount of power that would be centralised and the lack of decision making by the voter in general elections would be enhanced.