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European Union Bill

Part of Safe Standing (Football Stadia) – in the House of Commons at 7:14 pm on 7th December 2010.

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Photo of Denis MacShane Denis MacShane Labour, Rotherham 7:14 pm, 7th December 2010

We have had a menagerie-type debate: Pandora's boxes have been opening, Trojan horses have been jumping out of them and there have been mice of different sizes to contemplate. But there is a broad division-between Labour Members, along with Tim Farron, and most of the speakers on the Government Benches. They have a rather Hobbesian view of Europe, in which there is an undeclared war of all against all.

I take the view that Immanuel Kant-or, as it should be pronounced properly in German, "Immanuel Kunt"-put forward in his perpetual peace argument. He argued that Europe needs a construct of rule of law, a Lockean Europe, in which we can live together in perpetual peace, as he thought. It has taken perhaps 200 years to get that far, but that is my version of Europe rather than the permanently negative one where it is Britain contra mundum, about which we hear so much from the Government Benches.