Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash , Stafford 6:45 pm, 4th March 1993

My hon. Friend the Member for Esher (Mr. Taylor) says that he caught me on a raw nerve. If the day comes that people think they have caught me on a raw nerve on this subject, it will be a day to remember. It is not going to happen. I have no problem with the Single European Act. The Maastricht treaty is primarily about government; the Single European Act is primarily about trading relations.

The qualified majority voting and trading arrangements which are within the Single European Act were necessary, in my judgment, for freeing trading relations within Europe. I have no difficulty with that, in principle, in law or in practice. Unfortunately, the Single European Act and the single market have been in need of considerable improvement. Unfortunately, the opportunity was not taken in the run-up to the Maastricht treaty to create a level playing field and get rid of the wrinkles that exist. I am glad that the Select Committee on Trade and Industry is looking into this, and I hope that its report will be well worth reading.