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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

I do not think I am permitted to take more than two interventions.

There is such Eurosceptic hostility to the European Union that the last Government took the view that to attach themselves to the EU would mean seeing their popularity sink. They should have gone on the front foot; perhaps we would be in a different position if they had.

The UK and other member states face many major challenges, such as delivering economic growth, completing the single market, delivering new free trade agreements, cracking down on cross-border crime, combating climate change and fighting global poverty. The Bill should finally place to rest the concerns about the lack of democratic safeguards over big EU decisions. It will ensure that future big decisions about Britain's place in Europe are taken out of the hands of the governing elite of the day and placed firmly in the hands of the British public and, on their behalf, this Parliament.

The Bill is a fine example of what coalition politics produces-a document delivered by two parties, working together despite their differing traditional outlooks on the EU.