Treaty on European Union

Part of Orders of the Day — European Communities (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 4th March 1993.

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Photo of Mr Allan Rogers Mr Allan Rogers , Rhondda 8:15 pm, 4th March 1993

The hon. Gentleman puts his case well, but he cannot get away from the fundamental dilemma. The whole Maastricht treaty, the resolutions passed recently by the European Parliament—my right hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore) mentioned them—the Spinelli report and other previous resolutions all embody a tendency towards a federal Europe. There is no doubt about that. The Prime Minister negotiated in Maastricht on the basis of gatecrashing a party by going in backwards to give the impression that he was coming out—as my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) once described it. The Prime Minister did that because he had to satisfy certain elements in his party. Now he has the dilemma of having to argue that the proposals are non-federal, although in fact they are federal. That is the dilemma which faces the Conservative party. At least my hon. Friends' position is honest. They have always been honest about their attitude to the European Community, which is more than the Government are at the moment.