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Mr. Garel-Jones : I should just like to note that the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (Sir R. Johnston) raised his point of order about those on the Front Benches failing to give way after I had spoken only about five words of my speech. I am sure that the Committee will concede that the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) was generous in giving way to hon. Members on both sides of the Committee. I will certainly seek to do the same.

Equally, I shall try not to detain the Committee for too long, so that I may follow the example of my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford, who managed to reduce his speech to a quarter of that which he made at our last sitting. That may mean that more hon. Members on both sides of the Committee--in particular, my two countrymen, the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) and the right hon. Member for Llanelli (Mr. Davies) who sat through all our last sitting and did not manage to intervene--can speak.

For the benefit of the Committee, I should say that the Financial Secretary will seek at some point to catch your eye, Mr. Lofthouse, to pick up points made by right hon. and hon. Members about economic and monetary union, convergence criteria, economic policy and so on.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : I am grateful to the Minister for giving way at this early stage. He has announced that, once he has seen the Bill through, he will retire from the Cabinet and leave the job. I am sorry to hear that, because I have always found him an accommodating Minister. His departure, however, poses the question whether someone who is, to coin the phrase, a "here today, gone tomorrow" Minister should shepherd through such a momentous Bill, which has such enormous constitutional and economic repercussions. His departure will call into question the nature of the answers that he will give to the difficult problems that will be raised in our proceedings. Surely such assurances could be cast aside by his successor as the responsibility of his predecessor.

Mr. Garel-Jones : I thank the hon. Gentleman for promoting me in a premature way to the Cabinet, of which I am not a member. [ Hon. Members :-- "Shame."] I agree. I must tell the hon. Gentleman and the Committee that we are all here today, gone tomorrow. I assure my hon. Friend from the Whips Office who is sitting behind me that, when I return to the Back Benches, I intend to continue to take the same line as I have done in government.

Mr. Dalyell : On a point of order, Mr. Lofthouse. It has just gone up on the tapes that there has been American military action against Iraq. In view of what was said this afternoon in the Committee, I once again ask for a Government statement as soon as possible, particularly if British forces are involved.

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The First Deputy Chairman : The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that that is a matter for the Government, but no doubt those on the Treasury Bench will have noted what he said.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South) : Further to that point of order, Mr. Lofthouse. I raised this matter with Madam Speaker when she was in the Chair before the House went into Committee, and she assured me that she would give careful consideration to any request by the Government to make a statement about this latest savage attack.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Tony Newton) : It might be helpful, Mr. Lofthouse, if Isaid at once that we have arranged for the Secretary of State for Defence to make a statement at 10 o'clock.

Mr. Marlow : On a point of order, Mr. Lofthouse. What will happen at 10 o'clock? What is the possible scenario? If the Government want to make a statement after 10 o'clock, will they have to suspend the 10 o'clock business motion first?

The First Deputy Chairman : We shall have to wait and see. Statements at 10 o'clock take precedence.

Mr. Marlow : My question is fairly straightforward.

The First Deputy Chairman : I gave a fairly straightforward answer-- we shall have to wait and see.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The amendment that my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford has moved is the same as one of the other amendments in the group tabled by the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore). It would delete from the scope of the Bill all amendments to the treaty of Rome.

It will not have escaped the notice of the Committee that this is a fairly sweeping amendment and that it is utterly at odds with the purpose of the Bill. The European Communities Act 1972 created a framework within our domestic law for recognising Community rights and obligations arising from the treaty of Rome. The Maastricht treaty amends the treaty of Rome, and, as has been pointed out from the Chair, we need to amend our legislation to take account of that fact. This amendment would prevent us from making that necessary change and would make it impossible for us to ratify the Maastricht treaty. It is, of course, in order, as it has been selected by the Chair, but it is clearly a wrecking amendment, which cannot be portrayed as anything else, and I shall ask the Committee to reject it.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton : On a point of order, Mr. Lofthouse. The Chair has already ruled that a wrecking amendment would not have been selected. How, therefore, can the Minister say that this is a wrecking amendment?

The First Deputy Chairman : I can support what the Chair has said : that at no time would a wrecking amendment have been accepted. I hope that the Minister will reconsider the word that he has just used.

Mr. Garel-Jones : Like my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton), I was present in the Committee when that ruling was given from the Chair. That is why I have taken care to say that the amendment is, of course, in order. You, Mr. Lofthouse, have asked me to withdraw the word "wrecking". Naturally I do so.

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The point that I am trying to make is that, if this amendment is approved, Her Majesty's Government will be rendered unable to ratify the treaty. If the amendment is pressed to a Division, I shall therefore ask the Committee to reject it.

Sir Russell Johnston : Surely there is a difference between wrecking in a technical sense, and wrecking in a rhetorical sense.

Mr. Garel-Jones : Indeed.

Mr. Denzil Davies : The hon. Gentleman has said that this amendment would make the treaty unratifiable. Does he not agree that any amendment resulting in the deletion of any part of the Maastricht treaty would make the treaty unratifiable?

Mr. Garel-Jones : That is the case, but there are on the Order Paper other amendments--the right hon. Gentleman must be well aware of them-- which, if carried, would not make the treaty unratifiable. There is a distinction.

I turn to the amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith). I am sure that, like me, the Committee is grateful for the hon. Gentleman's indication that these are probing amendments designed to provoke debate and discussion. I should like to treat and respond to them in that spirit.

Amendment No. 11, in the name of the right hon. and learned Member for Monklands, East (Mr. Smith), seeks to delete from the scope of the Bill the revised article 2 of the treaty of Rome, which describes the tasks of the Community. This article replaces the existing article 2 of the treaty of Rome--revising it for the first time since the formation of the Community, and expanding its original terms. Thus, it will include references to sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting the environment, to convergence--a reference to economic and monetary union--to cohesion, and to the raising of the standard of living and the quality of life throughout the Community. As the hon. Member for Oxford, East has said, these are all worthy aims for states members of the Community to pursue. They are certainly the aims of Her Majesty's Government. Of course, from time to time--this is a matter for debate between the two sides of the Committee-- the ways in which we seek to pursue them will differ according to our respective political philosophies.

Article 2 of the treaty sets out in general terms the goals of the European Community. As amended, the article would make it clear that these aims are to be achieved through implementation of the common policies and activities detailed in the rest of the treaty. The article should therefore be read with articles 3 and 3a, which set out the detailed activities of the Community.

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The goal of article 2 should be seen as being to guide the Community as a whole. It is inevitable that, from time to time within the Community, there will be different views on how to attain this, but there will be no lack of agreement on the means set out in the body of the treaty.

Also in the name of the Leader of the Opposition is another probing amendment to delete article 138a from the scope of the Bill. As the Committee has been told, this amendment too is intended to stimulate debate on article

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138a, which, in itself, is simply declaratory and recognises the importance of political parties at European level. I am glad to have an opportunity to debate the importance of European political parties, and I am relieved that the Opposition have no intention of pressing the amendment to a Division.

We have been told about Labour's commitment to the European socialist group in the European Parliament. I can confirm that the Conservative party, like the Christian Democtrats, is an allied member of the European Parliament group of the European People's party. I myself cannot envisage the Conservative party's becoming a Christian Democratic party. Indeed, one of the interesting things about the enlargement of the Community--I think that I am right in saying this--is that, assuming, as we expect, that the four applicants will become members, those that are on the centre right and do not have a Christian Democratic tradition in their countries will be in the majority in the European Parliament.

The centre right in countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Spain- -to mention just three of the larger countries in the Community that do not have a Christian Democratic tradition--is finding it easy to work alongside its Christian Democratic partners. However, each of us puts a unique spin on the ball of centre-right policies in Europe, and we, with our Christian Democratic allies, will seek to ensure that what we see as the free-market principles on which the European Community is based are upheld, not just in our national and domestic politics but also at a European level.

Mr. Andrew Smith : Surely the Minister's reservations about Christian democracy do not make it impossible for the Conservatives to move from being allied members to being full members. Surely what really prevents them from moving to full membership is that the group supports the common social policy, that its Governments have been prepared to sign the social chapter and, indeed, have criticised the British Conservative party for not going along with a positive social policy.

Mr. Garel-Jones : No. It goes much deeper. The European Community countries that do not have a Christian Democratic tradition--the United Kingdom is one of them--feel, for example, that Christian democracy has a slightly corporatist approach to life that other centre-right parties do not have. I do not say that in any critical sense. For example, in the main Christian Democratic countries in western Europe, there are, as it were, client trade unions. The Conservatives have no such thing. The only client trade unions that exist in this country are on the left of British politics. There are some fundamental historical differences between Christian democracy and other centre-right parties, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we have no difficulty in working with our Christian Democratic friends in Europe. Indeed, even though we are a minority in the European Parliament, we managed to defeat an absurd amendment from the European socialists, prompted by the European Labour party in the European Parliament--thanks to the skilful whipping of Mr. Tindemans and other members of the Conservative group.

Sir Russell Johnston : I thank the Minister for giving way so that I may provide some information for his benefit, but also for the benefit of the hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith), who was significantly less

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willing to give way. We were told that the Labour party had consistently been in favour of strengthening the European Parliament. My recollection is that the socialist manifesto issued before the last European election did indeed say that, but the Labour party had a derogation from it.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The hon. Gentleman is very unkind. Thanks to the Conservative party's consistent stand as a pro-European party over the past 20 years, and the number of defeats that have been inflicted on the Labour party, not least because of its absurd commitment to withdraw from the European Economic Community, as it was then called, the Labour party has finally seen the light and become a pro-European party, albeit in socialist terms. The Liberal Democrat party and the Conservative party, which have consistently stood on that platform, must be grateful for small mercies. It is unkind of the hon. Gentleman to remind the Labour party of its past in that matter.

Mr. Peter Mandelson (Hartlepool) : Does the Minister recall the advertisement by the Conservative party at the European elections in 1989, which complained about the diet of Brussels? Did he endorse that campaign, which was aimed directly at opposing the European Community?

Mr. Garel-Jones : It is unfair to say that it was aimed in opposition to the European Community, because the Conservative party not only negotiated Britain's entry into the Community but has stood up against the onslaughts of the Labour party in the past 20 years and negotiated the Single European Act and the Maastricht treaty. I agree that that was not the most successful advertisement or campaign that the Conservative party has ever run, and I assure him that next time there is a European campaign, we shall run a much more successful and aggressive one.

As the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber has permitted himself an unkindness to the socialists, may I say that the political party in Britain that faces the greatest difficulty in European integration is the Liberal party. European Liberals remain Liberals in the sense that my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) would understand the term. Our Liberals, with one or two distinguished exceptions, of whom the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber is one, are really European Social Democrats. The difficulty that British Liberals have in signing up to any European Liberal principles is notorious in Europe. Most European Liberals regard them as watered-down Social Democrats.

Sir Russell Johnston : I am left virtually speechless. The Minister has well outbidded me in unkindness and inaccuracy.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The last of the probing amendments tabled by the Opposition seeks to delete article H from the Bill--that is, all the amendments to the European Coal and Steel Community included in title III. As the hon. Member for Oxford, East did not refer to that, am I right in assuming that the amendment was tabled early in the day, and that he is not asking me to reply to it? Mr. George Robertson (Hamilton) indicated assent.

Mr. Garel-Jones : Before the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore) speaks, may I refer to new clause 10, which is important and which the

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hon. Member for Oxford, East said that the Labour party might support. He was not firm about it, but said that he would be prepared to listen to arguments about it.

If accepted, new clause 10 would require the Government by law to publish and lay before Parliament reports produced by the European Council under article D of the union treaty and to publish at the same time a policy statement. The Committee will agree that the amendment is surprising. Drawing up procedures for parliamentary scrutiny should be a matter for this House alone. We should be going down a dangerous route if our practices were to be regulated by an international treaty or legislation tabled by the Executive. It would be quite a change if the working practices of the House were settled through the statute book, by a Bill introduced by the Executive.

Mr. Andrew Smith : I said that the new clause had a great deal to commend it and that, unless I heard compelling arguments to the contrary. I would be inclined to support it. I have heard no compelling arguments so far. The new clause amends legislation before the Committee and does not amend a treaty. It would extend to the House the same opportunity to scrutinise the reports of the European Council's work as would be available to the European Parliament. That would be a good thing.

Mr. Garel-Jones : I am in the middle of making my argument. I listened carefully to what the hon. Member for Oxford, East said, and that is why I am dealing carefully with new clause 10. I took it that the hon. Gentleman had an open mind on it and wanted to debate it.

Mrs. Teresa Gorman (Billericay) : Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Garel-Jones : I shall give way in a moment.

I hope that hon. Members will express their opinions on the new clause during the debate because it is a House of Commons matter, which is why we should listen to each other's arguments.

Apart from the principle that we should legislate on Standing Orders, Parliament already has full scope for detailed scrutiny of the Government's approach to the European Community. For example, the Prime Minister always reports the outcome of each European Council to the House and is questioned on that report. The conclusions produced at each European Council meeting are deposited in Parliament. Parliament is also closely associated with the timetable of European Council meetings. At the House's request, a six- monthly debate takes place in the House before every European Council meeting and also looks ahead to future work and priorities. The Council also provides an annual report to the European Parliament on the Community's work, which is made available in the Library. The debate is important because the Opposition have an open mind on it. The Committee should bear in mind the fact that, when these debates take place, which is quite often, some of my hon. Friends find it difficult to get enough Members to keep the debate going.

Mr. Marlow : Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Garel-Jones : May I finish my argument? Then I shall be pleased to give way to hon. Members.

On new clause 10, I contend that there will be no shortage of opportunities to examine the Government's

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policy on the activities and progress of the union, or to keep the House fully informed of the European Council's activities, both before and after each of those meetings. The procedures seem to be adequate in any case but, if the Committee felt that they were inadequate and wanted the Government to make further demarches through a Select Committee, it should decide about the matter, and it should not be subject to legislation introduced by the Executive. The right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney will no doubt wish to convince the Committee that the new clause is worthy of support. That is a matter for him, but the device is both cumbersome and unnecessary. If you, Mr. Lofthouse, were to allow a Division on it, unless arguments convince me otherwise, I will ask the Committee to reject it.

Mrs. Gorman : On the matter of my right hon. Friend's preamble on the subject of European parties and similarities between us, the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and God knows who else, is that not almost irrelevant? After all, the European Parliament, to which all these people and their parties are elected, has virtually no powers at all over the Commission except in the matter of approving the budget. Is it not true that the Council of Ministers makes the decisions and that it only reacts to what the bureaucracy has prepared for it? Its members simply do not have the time to consider and debate the ideas which we should be putting forward, so the whole thing

Mr. Garel-Jones : I do not think that I agree with my hon. Friend. It is true that, in some areas, the Commission has the exclusive right of initiative where member states have agreed they should have it. But my hon. Friend is right : the key body is the Council of Ministers. Decisions are taken by the Council of Ministers, who are accountable to their national Parliaments, but we have, I think rightly, given additional powers to the European Parliament in the Maastricht treaty--mainly powers of supervision over the Commission and its activities, but also as a body to which the citizen can go to complain about injustices or maladministration by the Community. I think that that is a good thing. We have given it the power of negative assent, or rejection, at the end of the process in some carefully defined areas.

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Mr. George Robertson : Reverting to new clause 10 and to the Minister's case as to why we should not consider it sympathetically, he has given a number of examples of where the Government choose to consult the House to inform it of European Community business. In that respect, it is largely correct, except that a lot of it is by custom and practice--custom and practice that the Government choose to deploy in that way. The six- monthly debate on the report of the European Community used to take place at the whim of the Government at various times during the six months ; it was only brought to a point where it related to the European Council meeting because of the House's decision to try to anchor it at a specific point. The Minister is right to say that the Prime Minister reports to the House after every full European Council meeting, but there was a time--it is within my

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parliamentary life--when it was an obligation on the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to report to the House after every Foreign Affairs Council meeting. We have not had such a report for many years now ; it fell into disuse because the Foreign Office decided that it simply would not do it.

Surely, therefore, there is something to be said here, in such an important area, where there will be a statutory responsibility for the European Parliament to receive a report on the work of the union, for the British Parliament having a similarly anchored commitment to receive exactly the same information.

Mr. Garel-Jones : One of the differences between our Parliament and most others in Europe is that we do things by custom and practice. Having, as I do, some knowledge of Parliaments in other parts of Europe, I find that the way in which we organise our lives here is rather more efficient than people would expect.

I think that the statements from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office fell into desuetude because the demand for them was not there at the time. That is my understanding. The hon. Member is, however, well aware that, when the House wishes something to happen, and when something has become an established practice in the House, under the non-written constitutional arrangements that we have in this country, it is a pretty tight bet.

Here we are in Committee. It is true, Mr. Lofthouse, that I have no obligation to give way to any hon. Member, but if I were to stand up and read out my speech without giving way to hon. Members on both sides, it would be regarded as pretty outrageous. But it is not written down anywhere.

The Committee will decide when we come to a Division, and the hon. Member will talk to those in his party who are Whips, but I can remember in a former capacity rushing round the House on many occasions, trying to find hon. Members to come in so that a particular debate should not collapse before 10 o'clock.

I just warn the House against putting into statute what ought to be done through Standing Orders and by custom and practice. If the House genuinely believes that the present provisions for debate and discussion on these matters are inadequate, that is something that should be discussed through the usual channels and in the Select Committee on Procedure, in the way we normally do these things. Several Hon. Members rose--

Mr. Marlow : I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. He is suggesting almost that this is a matter of principle. There is a great deal of scrutiny of European legislation by the House at present, as my right hon. Friend knows, and I presume that this was established through legislation. All that is suggested--

Sir Russell Johnston : Through procedure.

Mr. Marlow : Through procedure? Not through legislation? Well, is there any damage or harm done by enshrining it in legislation? An increasing amount of information is made available to the House at the moment. My right hon. Friend, along with many others, agrees that there is a democratic deficit in the Community at present. Would it not be helpful in overcoming that democratic deficit to agree to this amendment?

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Mr. Garel-Jones : I am aware of my hon. Friend's views and temperament about the Community as a whole, but, in considering new clause 10, I urge him to look at it in a different light, as a House of Commons matter. For example, the two new Standing Committees that we have for scrutinising European Community legislation have in some respects been extremely successful, but the Committee will know that, after a year or so, discussions go on, through the usual channels and through the Select Committee on Procedure, and if the House feels that those arrangements are inadequate and have not met the House's ambitions in the matter, it is possible to change them.

I urge my hon. Friend, because he is anxious, as I think all hon. Members are, to ensure, as I see it, our enthusiastic co-operation in a European union, that we keep the traditions of the House about the way it organises its business, and that it should be done on a custom and practice basis that enables hon. Members, through the usual channels, to discuss these matters. On that basis, I would respectfully suggest to the right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney that his new clause is unnecessary.

Several hon. Members rose--

Mr. Spearing : I am grateful to the Minister for giving way, as I am a signatory of the new clause. I have no doubt tha t my right hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney will give a substantive reply to this mini-debate, but I am rather surprised at the Minister's statement. Declaration 13 on page 127 of the treaty states :

"The Conference considers that it is important to encourage greater involvement of national Parliaments in the activities of the European Union."

The new clause does not call for a debate ; it has nothing to do with the usual channels or time in this Chamber. The second and very important part of it is that, after the report has been made--the same one that goes to the European Parliament, so we are acting in parallel, as many hon. Members wish--says that the Government shall lay a statement

"as to their policy and performance in respect of the activities of the Union and their policies for its future."

Surely this is accountability of the Government to the House and to the country, written into a Bill or an Act, which is common in many Acts. It is a matter of democratic accountability and not of the procedures of debate in this House.

Mr. Garel-Jones : That is a matter that the Committee must decide. I believe tha t it would be inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditions of the House for its Standing Orders or for the way in which it chooses to scrutinise the Executive to be written into an Act of Parliament. That is my view.

Furthermore, as the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) is probably more aware than any other hon. Member, over the next three or four years, the House will have to decide how it intends to scrutinise the activities in the intergovernmental pillars of the union. The common foreign and security policy will not present the House with a great many problems, because, as a general rule, foreign policy does not produce legislation ; but the interior and justice pillar may--I very much hope that it will--produce legislation on matters of law and order, immigration, frontiers and so on on a European basis, and the House will need to decide how it is to inform itself in this matter.

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It is an area where, it seems to me, the House will come up with some ideas and will adjust them, and the beauty of operating by custom and practice in the House is precisely the ability to do so. As for the declaration on the role of national Parliaments, the British Government insisted that it should be a declaration, not a protocol, because it was a matter for the House. How the House chooses to attend, represent itself and make its input in the discussions on the role of national Parliaments is a matter initiated by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, in consultation with his opposite number, through to the minority parties.

Sir Russell Johnston : I am grateful to the Minister for giving way again, but in doing so he can clarify matters now and obviate the need for later contributions. The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. Robertson) said that statements on Foreign Affairs Councils had fallen into desuetude. Presumably, according to what the Minister has just said, that was because no issues were raised through the usual channels.

In his introductory remarks when he called on us to reject new clause 10, the Minister said that such changes should not be introduced as part of a Bill presented by the Executive, but should be decided by Parliament. If Parliament decides to introduce the new clause tonight, that will constitute a decision of Parliament against the Executive.

Mr. Garel-Jones : Of course I accept that the new clause is not a wrecking clause--I do not use the word "wrecking" in the aggressive sense. If the new clause is carried, it will not mean that the Government are unable to ratify the Maastricht Bill. I want to make that clear to the Committee, which is why I am inviting my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow), as well as other of my hon. Friends and some Opposition Members, to regard the subject as a House of Commons matter.

From my knowledge of other European Parliaments, I can assure the Committee --I am not necessarily speaking as a member of the Government--that the House carries out its business much more efficiently than people imagine. To pick up the issue raised by the hon. Member for Hamilton, at present, at the end of each European Council meeting we state what was discussed at the Council in reply to a parliamentary written question. If the House felt that it wanted a verbal statement, that desire would be raised through the usual channels and discussed and, if necessary, the Select Committee on Procedure could become involved.

My hon. Friend the Member for Stafford was much exercised by the fact that the Maastricht treaty describes the European Community as the European Community, not the European Economic Community. The Maastricht treaty simply formalises what has been a general practice for many years. My hon. Friend seemed to be worried about that on the ground that he and some of my other hon. Friends have always regarded the European Community as a common market, so the removal of the word "economic" implied something broader to him.

I am sorry that my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford is not present. When he supported the Single European Act--he again confirmed today that he does not renege on that--that Act introduced an article on social policy. Therefore, it must have been clear to him then that

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we were engaged in something slightly more than casual encounters in the market place. The term "European Community" has long been used in the House by many people, including my right hon. Friend the Baroness Thatcher, as long ago as 1981. I hope that my hon. Friend will not regard the use of the term in the treaty as of special significance.

Mr. Rowlands : The Minister made an understandable distinction and said that the Government had sought to ensure that there was a declaration, not a protocol, in relation to national Parliaments. Will he confirm what I assume to be true, which is that none of the declarations in the treaty falls within the scope of the Bill?

Mr. Garel-Jones : I think that they fall within the scope of the Bill but, as the hon. Gentleman will be aware, a declaration is not legally binding on any member state. The declarations fall within the scope of the Bill, but they are not legally binding and are not, I am told, imported into domestic law. I shall take advice on that matter and reply to the hon. Gentleman later.

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Mr. Jenkin : It is ironic that we are changing the name of the European Economic Community to the European Community at the same time as Her Majesty's Government are insisting that the Community is an economic pillar in a union of separate pillars that relate to issues other than economics. As originally formulated in the Single European Act and the existing treaty of Rome, the Community is principally an economic community. However, the new article 2 mentions objectives such as social cohesion and solidarity. We know that the pillars are associated with the Community through various articles in the Maastricht treaty.

Therefore, in the European Economic Community, we are creating something much more than an economic pillar. That is the reason for the desire to change the name. We are the only country at odds with the objectives of the other 11 member Governments, who want to create a Community that includes the pillars in the fullest sense. That is why the Commission has just appointed new Commissioners to have responsibility for matters that we regard as outside their control--such as justice and home and foreign affairs.

Mr. Garel-Jones : The European Community is a developing and living institution. I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Colchester, North (Mr. Jenkin) is being a little unfair to himself and others if he believes that the European Community has always been conceived as nothing more than a market. One only has to read the preamble to the treaty of Rome and the Single European Act to see that the Community was always more than that.

If we are successful in persuading many of our partners that there should be intergovernmentalism within the union, as I hope and believe we will be- -that will be the debate for 1996 and beyond--I would not be surprised if, over the years, the term "European union" became more common than the term "European Community". I would not regard such a development as sinister. In essence, the treaty merely recognises what has become custom and practice. Almost everyone refers to the European Community as the European Community.

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Mr. John Townend (Bridlington) : Is not the change of terminology much more significant than my right hon. Friend is making out? The word "union" is much more significant to Europeans than the word "Community". I accept the sincerity of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and his colleagues when they say that they are opposed to the Community being developed as a federal state. However, is it not a fact that all the other leaders--with the possible exception of the Danish Prime Minister--see Maastricht as a move towards a federal state? Is it not dangerous to sign a treaty that we think means one thing and the other 11 member states think means something else ?

Mr. Garel-Jones : I do not want to deceive my hon. Friend. It is true that, during the past 30 years, a number of our partners have moved towards a single structure--I would almost go as far as to say that the whole thrust of the Community has been towards a single structure. In many ways, our reticence was due to the fact that we joined the Community late.

The beauty of the Maastricht treaty is that, for the first time, we have emerged from a set of negotiations not merely saying that we made the best of a bad job and managed to hold things back. I see that my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) is in his place--he played a significant part in the development. There was pressure to push all the Home Office business into a single structure. The crucial moment occurred at the time of the Dutch text, when the federalists fought what I hope will be their last battle in the development of the European Community. My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) wishes to see a single structure. That is not a sin. It is almost the majority view in Europe, and it is the view of the Liberals.

We cannot be certain of anything, but the treaty gives us a chance to make intergovernmentalism work. Some countries in the Community now support that approach, but when the Dutch text was produced, only two countries were prepared to support it.

Part of my task is to persuade hon. Members who have perfectly understandable doubts about the matter that, if the Conservative party enthusiastically supports intergovernmentalism, considers law and order on a European scale and successfully presses ahead on common foreign and security policies, we can enter the 1996 intergovernmental conference with the enlarged membership increasingly beginning to shape the Europe that Conservatives have always wanted to see.

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