European Communities (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 20th November 2001.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Richmond Lord Watson of Richmond Liberal Democrat 7:00 pm, 20th November 2001

Would the noble Lord accept that, by definition, the applicant states have applied to join the European Union as defined by the existing acquis communautaire? That is a matter of historical fact. Whether the noble Lord likes the European Union as it exists within the present acquis communautaire is another matter: whether he believes that they would like a different kind of Europe is a matter for speculation. I have heard that the candidate countries are absolutely determined to join the European Union as it is at present defined by the acquis communautaire. A number of countries have made it quite clear, for example, that they would like to join the European monetary union and the euro when it becomes a reality.