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European Council

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 24th October 2011.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:30 pm, 24th October 2011

The hon. Lady asks a very important question, so let me try and answer it. I absolutely believe it is right to have public petitions in the way that we now do, and that it is right to give time to Back-Bench motions—this Government have brought that reform about. However, the issue of Europe is not a side issue, but an important one, and it is important that political parties and Governments make their views on it known. I do not accept the idea that somehow we can have a vote on something as important as this on a Thursday and hope that it will go unnoticed. I believe in the importance of Parliament, but I cannot believe in a sovereign Parliament on the one hand and on the other say that some of its votes and decisions do not matter. I simply do not think that that is consistent.