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I am delighted to respond to the debate on the amendments. It was led—pretty gracefully, I thought—by Mr. Francois in his typical fashion. We have also heard—perhaps less enjoyably, but none the less interestingly—about the 4 am dreams of my hon. Friend Sir Stuart Bell, and we have been told how Mr. Lilley was seduced, no less, into voting for membership of the European Community back then. I believe that that is what he was implying.
We also heard from my hon. Friend Rob Marris and my right hon. Friend Ms Hewitt. They are becoming a formidable double act, if they do not mind my saying so. In a series of telling interventions, they got to the core of the choices facing the House tonight. We also heard from the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, my hon. Friend Mike Gapes, who put the debate into a wider, international context. He referred to the unanimous conclusions of the Select Committee on these matters. Paragraph 162 of its report of
"We recommend that the Government...continue to encourage its EU partners to take a robust and united approach to dealing with Moscow, in the energy field and beyond."
That is the unanimous conclusion of all members, of all parties, of the Select Committee, including Mr. Heathcoat-Amory. It therefore seems to be accepted across the House that there is a need for a concerted effort and a united approach on energy policy, not only in Russia but in the wider international sphere.
We also heard from my hon. Friend Michael Connarty, who brought great wisdom and experience to the debate on the amendment. He talked about the changing nature of the debate, the negotiations on sovereignty and other matters relating to energy policy. He clearly articulated that, under the old arrangements, he campaigned against and would have voted against proposals such as those before us this evening. He said, however, that, because of the changes that we have secured on determining our own energy mix, retaining control of energy resources and ensuring that taxation remains an issue of unanimity, the proposals now have his enthusiastic endorsement.
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