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European Union (Amendment) Bill

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 4th March 2008.

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Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs) 3:46 pm, 4th March 2008

The message is clearly not getting through, which is yet another reason why we should have the debate tomorrow, when we can explain it to again and again to make it absolutely clear. For the hon. Gentleman's sake, I shall repeat some of the basic arguments. For a start, the constitutional treaty, unlike the Lisbon treaty, contains the treaty of Rome, the treaty of Maastricht, the Single European Act, the treaty of Nice and the treaty of Amsterdam, so a vote on that document would be a vote on all the rules and the whole EU constitution.

In 2006, Mr. Hague said that the constitutional treaty was a constitution, not simply a treaty, and as such would have revolutionised the European Union. He was right, which is why there was a case for a referendum. The nearest question with which this House can provide the people of Britain is an in-out referendum, which is nearest to the manifesto promises on which most hon. Members stood.

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