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The European Parliament plays an important role in European legislation, and I have met MEPs from pretty well all political families who take their responsibilities as legislators seriously. If the European Parliament were the answer to the democratic deficit, however, we would not see the depth of public discontent with, and mistrust of, European institutions that we see in many different member states. One of the problems, which can be measured in the low turnouts in European Parliament elections in pretty well every member state, is that people do not see the European Parliament as accountable or close to their concerns.
Several hon. Members rose—