Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Peter Shore Mr Peter Shore , Bethnal Green and Stepney 7:45 pm, 4th March 1993

My hon. Friend makes a fair point, but he must see the Maastricht process in the context of the profound historical developments which have made the thrust to federalism the dominant factor in the Community. The two Germanys have joined together, and the united Germany wishes to enmesh itself in the rest of western Europe. The French, out of fear of a united Germany, are all too anxious to place cords and restraints on Germany, and therefore are prepared to abandon their "Europe des patries" position and advocate federalism in a way which seemed inconceivable three years ago. Against that background, we must judge the movements and initiatives of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament plans to prevent enlargement of the Community by refusing to sanction a further treaty which admits new members. The Institutional Affairs Committee specifically says that it disagrees with the view expressed in the conclusions of the Lisbon European Councils of 27 June 1992 that enlargement of the Union to include those EFTA states wishing to accede should be completed without further institutional reforms. The European Parliament has rejected that. The Lisbon conference recommendation or assertion that it would proceed with enlargement before institutional reform is now explicitly rejected by the Institutional Affairs Committee.