Report (1st Day)

Part of European Union Bill – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 8th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Hamilton of Epsom Lord Hamilton of Epsom Conservative 7:00 pm, 8th June 2011

I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Empey, because the purpose of the Bill is to give the people of this country the final say on what happens in terms of our relationship with Europe. If we allow this amendment to go through-and I totally oppose it-the effect will be to open it all up again so the discretion is left with Parliament. That is where the whole problem started. Successive Governments have misled this country about the implications of the treaties that we have signed. They have always been understated.

I spent much time as a Government Whip in another place saying to my colleagues, "Don't worry about this, it is just tidying things up and putting things in order. It does not really have any impact on the way we do business here." Every single time I said that I was lying through my teeth. Government have been lying though their teeth from the very start when we entered the economic community. We said to everybody, "Don't worry, there are no issue of sovereignty here. We are joining a free trading area. A free trading area is a wonderful idea and we want to get into this as quickly as possible".