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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

Perhaps I shall leave the reply to my old friend, Jim Naughtie.

We have also seen again today what surely must be an iron law of British politics-people can campaign in opposition as Eurosceptics, but they have to govern as Euro-realists. The outbreak of Euro-realism in the coalition Government was not brought about simply by the presence of the Liberal Democrats; it has happened because no Government of Britain could remotely sustain themselves in a relationship-not just to their European partners, but to partners around the world-on the basis of the hyped-up rhetoric that we heard from the Foreign Secretary when he was shadow Foreign Secretary. From that most powerful and amusing orator of the current Commons, we heard a very workaday speech. My right hon. Friend the shadow Foreign Secretary made a powerful and witty speech that reminded me of the late John Smith. But there we are-I have described what happens when people become Foreign Secretary. Realism has to break in.