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 Bowen Wells Mr Bowen Wells , Hertford and Stortford 8:15 pm, 4th March 1993

They talk about assize in Rome, and that is where we were. My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East was a member of that assize and he is right to say that a majority of the British delegation voted for the resolution, led by the Labour party but opposed by several people, including myself and, I believe, my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford. Yes, we were a minority, but we believed that national parliaments should stick together, because that is what they were there for—to represent their parliaments and the national ideas, thoughts, culture and traditions of their countries. In my view, it was wrong to break us up in that fashion.

It is important that we should begin to develop the way in which national parliaments work together. We should first look after the majority voting system enshrined in the Single European Act and in the Maastricht treaty, because under majority voting it is possible for decisions to be made which Britain—including, possibly, both parties representing Britain—totally opposes. Yet those decisions would be imposed upon us by a majority vote. In those circumstances it seems necessary—