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My hon. Friend makes an important point. I want to refer back to the exchange between my hon. Friend Emma Reynolds and the Foreign Secretary. It is not often that he is stalled in his stride, but my hon. Friend managed to stall him by pointing out that his new-found enthusiasm for referendums on any transfer of competence, however small, stands in stark contrast to his loyal vote for the Maastricht treaty under his then Government. It also stands in stark contrast to all those Conservative Members who were in the House during the passage of the Single European Act and who loyally stuck to British parliamentary convention. That is, that we are a parliamentary democracy and that when there are fundamental transfers of power around the euro, for example, there should, of course, be a referendum, as all parties have agreed. It is the job of this Parliament, however, to scrutinise, debate and to vote on any other matters.
Although I shall not devote a long section of my speech to this subject today, we look forward to long debates about how the Foreign Secretary will justify spending £80 million to £100 million on referendums, for example, on a change in the organisation of the pension committee of the European Parliament, which is one consequence of the new-found policy adopted by the Government. We will have particular fun in asking Simon Hughes, who has long stood for a high degree of European integration, to explain why that is a good use of taxpayers' money.
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