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European Union Bill

Part of Safe Standing (Football Stadia) – in the House of Commons at 5:36 pm on 7th December 2010.

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Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Shadow Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities 5:36 pm, 7th December 2010

As the hon. Gentleman will know, we have set out our belief that there should be referendums in cases of major constitutional change or currency issues, and I hope that he supported our decision not to let Britain enter the euro for the very good economic reasons that have proved to be right in practice.

The economic issues are very serious. Markets are still putting pressure on several eurozone countries. This matters immensely for Britain, because the Government are relying on an increase in British exports of £100 billion over the next few years to keep our economy growing, and we will not get that if our largest export market has gone into reverse. The EU does not have a serious strategy for growth and jobs, just as the British Government do not. The eurozone does not yet have a strong enough response to the pressure from financial markets, and a strategy of nothing but co-ordinated fiscal austerity in every country in Europe will not deliver growth, will not ultimately satisfy the financial markets and will be bad news for Britain. That is what we should be discussing now; that is what Ministers should be debating in Europe; that is what we should be discussing as part of a pre-European Council debate in the House. It makes a complete mockery of the Bill not to have those discussions in the House, and exposes the sham that the Secretary of State's approach to Europe really is.