EU Institutions

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15 January 1996.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman , Huddersfield 12:00, 15 January 1996

To ask the Lord President of the Council what representations he has had regarding the importance of access by parliamentarians to EU institutions and to other European Union parliaments. [7484]

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

I have not had any recent representations on that matter.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman , Huddersfield

The Lord President will be aware that many Labour Members who are pro-European are pro a democratic Europe, but not an Executive-driven Europe, and we believe that it is about time that domestic Parliaments' legislatures had access to Europe's institutions and not the measly one trip a year that is the current ration.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

Over recent years, I have heard a number of suggestions on this matter, but none so far that seem to be sensible in relation to the purpose that the hon. Gentleman seeks.

Photo of Mr John Wilkinson Mr John Wilkinson , Ruislip - Northwood

One trip a year is sufficient to understand what the purpose of the European Parliament is. Even to a casual visitor, it looks to be a towering Babel of neo-fascist proportions.

Photo of Mr Tony Newton Mr Tony Newton , Braintree

Knowing what I have heard over the years of my hon. Friend's views on these matters, I doubt whether he would have needed even one trip to form that conclusion.