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European Communities (Amendment) Bill (Programme) (No. 2)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:36 pm on 11th July 2001.

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Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst 3:36 pm, 11th July 2001

Yes, Mr. Speaker. I know that you would not want me to pursue such matters.

I concede that the great danger in programme motion debates is the appearance of repetition on the part of Opposition Members. I make no apology for that, as the underlying principles to which we object remain the same in each case, although the detail is different. The principle is even more important in respect of this Bill, not only because of its scope and enormity, but in the light of the number and scale of the amendments that have been tabled, to say nothing of those of which we cannot yet even be aware.

I oppose the programme motion, just as I hope that I shall continue to oppose all such motions—on principle and in relation to their application, detail and the terms in which they are presented. For me, they demonstrate all too well the Government's attitude, as they seek constantly to diminish the role of the House of Commons, its Members and its Committees, whether Upstairs or on the Floor of the House. I hope that hon. Members will oppose this and all other such motions.