New Clause 7 — Annual report on Part 1 of the Act

Part of NHS Acute Medical and Surgical Services (Working Time Directive) – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 1st February 2011.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe 6:15 pm, 1st February 2011

I am sorry that my hon. Friend seems to regard Margaret Thatcher as having sold out to Europe when she agreed to the single market. I ask him to talk to UK businesses, as he will find that they regard the single European market as a great boon. It was the combination of the UK being in the single European market and at the same time offering the best deal, with regard to regulation and low taxes, that led the UK, under the Conservative Government that he and I supported, to attract the lion's share of foreign direct inward investment into the entire EU.

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J H Hall
Posted on 2 Feb 2011 4:21 pm (Report this annotation)

The problem with the Minister's reply is that which beggars the whole of Commons debate: ministers do not answer questions put to them. Like it or not, consider it important or not, Douglas Carswell's question is a valid one. Why will the Minister not answer it. Is it because the premise is correct and that in trade terms, we are losing out by being in the EU? From his deafening silence, it seems that way.