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European Union Bill

Part of Safe Standing (Football Stadia) – in the House of Commons at 6:18 pm on 7th December 2010.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat, Westmorland and Lonsdale 6:18 pm, 7th December 2010

It is a pleasure to follow Kate Hoey and Mr Redwood, not only because they made excellent contributions, but because they give me the opportunity to be a loyalist by contrast.

This welcome and important Bill follows last week's award to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister from European Voice for their joint work in advancing a more progressive and European-style of Government-I know that all on this side of the House will be celebrating that. The Bill is a fine example of a coalition product: it is a sensible compromise. For too long, the UK has allowed domestic political posturing over the European project to dominate its thinking on the EU. Such an approach has fundamentally undermined our ability to play the positive agenda-setting role on the European stage that we can and should do. It would be great to be in the driving seat of Europe, okay to be in the passenger seat and passable to be in the back seat, but for the past 20 years or so Britain has, in effect, locked itself in the boot, kicking and whingeing as if it were somebody else's fault.