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(Except clauses 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 20 and 92) - Clause 56

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 16th June 2009.

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Photo of Jeremy Browne Jeremy Browne Shadow Minister (Treasury) 11:15 am, 16th June 2009

That is not something that causes me sleepless nights. I can see the merit in having the European Parliament administer the pay of its Members. I would  of course expect the six MEPs who represent the south-west of England to have foremost in their mind the concerns of the residents of the south-west of England, but I would not expect them to have those concerns exclusively in their minds. If they were able to advance animal welfare standards across the EU, for example, in a way that was advantageous to farmers in Somerset, who currently feel that they have to adhere to superior standards of animal welfare, I would regard them as discharging their function effectively. There are all kinds of roles that MEPs may play, and they might feel that they can make a contribution by advancing some of our European values in other parts of the world to the advantage of citizens there, so I do not wish their remit to be too narrowly confined.