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Mr. Wilshire: My hon. Friend is right, but that does not undermine my point. It is why I suggested that any further comments would be out of order, but the issues

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must be addressed. She is right, however, to say that the clause and the Bill do not include the options that I referred to. I have already tried your patience long enough, Sir Alan, so I will move on.

I ask the Minister to comment on several issues arising from clause 1. Clause 1(1) will alter the European Communities Act 1972, and that is what we are being asked to approve. That must raise the question of whether the change is sufficiently important for a referendum to be held on it. The Minister did not say whether the Government consider it a substantial change. We have been told that other matters are merely a question of tidying up. Is this change mere tidying up? I would have thought that the addition of 10 more states is stretching the meaning of the phrase somewhat. If this is a substantial change, as the whole Committee seems to agree, perhaps the Minister could tell us whether he gave any thought to consulting the British people. If so, what conclusions did he reach?

The changes go beyond tidying up, and the questions that arise, many of which are addressed by the Convention, flow directly from enlargement. If enlargement is not tidying up, the issues that arise from it cannot be tidying up. Therefore, the argument against a referendum, on this or anything else, must collapse, according to the Minister's own argument. I would be grateful for his views on the holding of a referendum, because we will have to return to the issue in due course.

Mr. Bercow: Ministers are always ready and able to shift the goalposts. Just as they can argue against a referendum on the so-called tidying-up grounds deployed by the Secretary of State for Wales, they are also capable of believing that issues are too important to subject to a referendum, for fear that the public might deliver the "wrong" verdict.

The Chairman: Order. This is a debate not about a referendum, but about clause 1 stand part.

Mr. Wilshire: I thought that you might intervene shortly, Sir Alan, and I accept what you say. I have made my point, and my hon. Friend underlined it.

Clause 1(1) will alter the treaty to take account of the joining of the countries that it mentions. Can the Minister tell us what the effect on the Bill would be if one of the 10 countries had a referendum that said no, and therefore did not join? We would have an Act of Parliament that altered a treaty to allow the accession of a country that would not in fact join. Would that make the entire procedure null and void? I note that clause 2(4)—I shall not debate the point now, Sir Alan—makes provision for what happens if one of the countries does not join. Why will we be told in that later debate that it is necessary to take precautions against a no vote in somebody else's referendum? If that is necessary in clause 2, why is it not necessary to have some sort of get-out provision in clause 1?

If the Minister thinks that an amendment could usefully be tabled in the other place to reflect that point, he might like to consider the European Communities Act section 1(3), which contains reference to the accession of Norway and makes arrangements for that country to become a member of the European Union. I know that he has a precedent to say that such provision

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is not necessary, but it appears to be necessary in clause 2. Can the Minister clear the muddle up, and what will he do about the Norwegian reference?

Bob Spink: Is my hon. Friend aware of tension about these matters in some countries such as the Czech Republic? Some politicians and people in that country are deeply fearful about the impact of the common agricultural policy on them, and we may well see a negative vote.

2.15 pm

Mr. Wilshire: That is another avenue that I would like to explore, but I fear that I would be out of order. My hon. Friend gives an example of a country that may provoke the very problem about which I am attempting to probe the Minister.

Keith Vaz: I am a little confused, because the hon. Gentleman began by saying that he was in favour of enlargement. He has raised several important points, and I am sure that my hon. Friend the Minister will answer them, but is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that we should delay the enlargement process until all those points have been addressed and all the referendums in the application countries are completed?

Mr. Wilshire: Absolutely not. The hon. Gentleman clearly has not been listening. I am tempted to repeat it all in case he could manage to grasp it the second time round. For his benefit, I shall try to make it as simple as possible. All I want is an assurance from the Minister that the wording is not defective, because I do not want enlargement to be held up. I want to be assured that if we leave clause 1 as it is, it will not wreck the whole process. That is the exact opposite of what the hon. Gentleman suggests. If he claims to see some ulterior motive in the points that I am making, he is wrong. I am in favour of enlargement and I am happy to vote for the Bill, but I would like an assurance on that point.

Mr. MacShane: In the event that one or more of the acceding states fails to ratify on time, the Council is required to decide on immediate indispensable adjustments to key provisions of the treaty. There is an exhaustive list of those provisions that would need to be adjusted. I could give the Committee more detail, but the issue is covered. The hon. Gentleman has made a fair point, but the Bill is in line with previous accession treaties.

Mr. Wilshire: I thought that that was what the Minister would say. If such provision is not necessary in clause 1, I hope that he will have a convincing argument as to why it is necessary to make reference in clause 2—when we reach it—to what will happen if one or more countries do fail to join. This is confusing, because he has now told us that part of clause 2 is not necessary. Perhaps he will wish to table an amendment to that effect.

The Minister rightly points out that there are provisions to cover what needs to be renegotiated in the event of the failure of a country to accede, but he has not

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clarified the standing of the Bill—or the subsequent Act—in such a case. We have had the answer about the effect that it would have on clause 1, but what would happen if a country that said no then entered into further negotiations on the specific points that had upset its voters, and arrived at a different solution that meant that it would join on different terms? Would the Government have to come back with another Bill, or is the wording of the Bill sufficient to allow entry following renegotiation of the terms? That is a serious point, because we should have the chance to consider any new conditions negotiated with an entrant state. Or are we saying that all 10 applicant countries can join on whatever terms are negotiated?

I am sorry that the Minister finds this tedious. He sighs, but we must clarify these matters. I am not a great believer in tramping through Lobbies to suit him, or anyone else, just because that would be expedient or because, at 2.19 pm, the Minister wants to get home. We are here to scrutinise legislation.

Mr. MacShane: The Bill uses language identical to that in the three preceding accession Acts. Clause 2(4) states:

The hon. Gentleman is making a series of hypothetical points, as he is entitled to. If a nation decided not to join the EU on the terms that have been agreed, it would have to make new proposals and see whether they were acceptable, then negotiate its position and have another referendum. In due course, a separate Bill for that country would have to be brought before the House. That is what the Bill provides for if, between now and next May, one of the 10 countries decides not to join the EU. The language used covers such a refusal.

Mr. Wilshire: I am grateful to the Minister for that clarification. We now know where we stand with regard to renegotiation by applicant states.

The Republic of Cyprus has been touched on already, and two issues arise from that, about which the Committee must be clear. The first is the situation in northern Cyprus, which is covered by protocol 10. When I looked at the paperwork relating to the Bill, I assumed that I would find details about travel across the green line, and indeed, those details appear in protocol 10.

Unfortunately, the protocol says merely that the matter will be left to the Commission to sort out once Cyprus's accession has been agreed. Is that sensible, given the history of the green line? We all hope that Cyprus will be united by May next year, but I worry that the protocol could increase tension rather than decrease it, because no one knows what it means.

Mr. MacShane: For the benefit of the Committee, I can report that the Commission has presented today, in the form of a communication to the Council, its proposals for dealing with some of the matters arising if there is no settlement in Cyprus before May next year. The communication includes proposals on trade and aid, for example. On trade, the Turkish Chamber of Commerce would become a customs authority under

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the authority of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, so that trade with the north could recommence. On aid, the proposal is that Euro13 million—the technical term for "million euro" is now, I understand, the ghastly "meuro"—of unspent budget will be spent in the form of 9 meuros on economic development and infrastructure, and 3 meuros on an information campaign covering EU issues. We fully support the proposals.

The hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink) asked about access and visas. Clearly, all holders of a Cypriot passport can travel to the EU and will be full citizens of the EU after 1 May, with normal visa-free access. People with Turkish passports will have to apply for visas, where appropriate, in the normal way. An increasing number of Cypriots from all communities are seeking the full Cypriot passport precisely so that they can get the travel rights that allow them to move freely about Europe.

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