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Mr. Wilshire: I am grateful for that helpful intervention, to which I shall make a couple of responses. First, I thought for a moment that the Minister was saying that the euro was ghastly. I would have agreed with him about that. I half hope that Hansard will have heard it the same way, but I think that he meant that the word "meuro" was ghastly.

Mr. Bercow: I am not clear about the unit of denomination being used. It would be helpful to know about it, for the purposes of clarifying the clause.

Mr. Wilshire: I am prepared to guess that I heard the word "meuro", which means millions of those ghastly awful things that I hope are never inflicted on this country. If the Minister wanted to join me in that sentiment, I should be delighted to give way to him.

The Minister referred to a document that he received today. I do not accuse him of discourtesy, as I might have been able to find the document in the Vote Office or the Library. However, we are being asked to legislate in respect of protocol 10 and I at least would be grateful to have a sight of that document. I hope that it may be possible for the Minister to arrange for someone to use a photocopier, as it would be helpful for members of the Committee to see exactly what is being proposed as an alternative to sorting out the green line problem after Cyprus has joined the EU. I am glad that the Minister has been able to tell us that such proposals now exist. All I want is to be able to decide whether they are adequate. It would be a huge help if he could make them available before the end of the debate—but I mean no criticism of him for not doing so beforehand.

Bob Spink: People in the north of Cyprus who do not have a full Cypriot passport, or who choose not to apply for one, will not enjoy the right of free movement in Europe without visas that others enjoy. Will my hon. Friend reflect on the anomaly thus caused, and perhaps encourage the Government to seek a solution?

Mr. Wilshire: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that point, which I shall not pursue beyond hoping that the Minister will say something about visas when he responds to the debate. My hon. Friend has raised the matter before in an intervention, and clarification from the Minister would be helpful.

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I hope, too, that the Minister will say whether he or Home Office Ministers have had any discussions with the Greek authorities on the matter. In the past, those authorities have had a nasty habit of denying British people access to Greece if they find a northern Cyprus stamp in their passports. Bearing it in mind that Greece is now an EU member, that seems a bit high-handed and unreasonable. I hope that the Minister will assure the Committee that that will stop when Cyprus joins the EU.

Another problem with the Republic of Cyprus that I hope that the Minister will clarify has to do with protocol 13, which deals with the sovereign base areas. It strikes me as weird that sovereign base areas should be situated outside the EU. Why do the Government think that that is a good idea? The only reason that I can find for that is that the Government consider that the arguments that applied when Britain negotiated EU entry still apply—that is, that when we joined, the sovereign bases did not join with us.

That may be a very good reason, but I hope that the Minister will say why the Committee is being asked to agree to clause 1, which in effect provides that the sovereign base areas of Cyprus remain outside the EU. However, I have discovered—surprise, surprise—that the benefits of the common agricultural policy will still apply to those areas, even though they are not in the EU. That is an example of having one's cake and eating it too. The sovereign base areas will have all the benefits of not being in the EU—if there are any, perhaps the Minister will tell us—but they will still get the money. That sounds weird—but perhaps I am being too suspicious and the Minister will be able to set my mind at rest.

2.30 pm

May I turn to subsection (2)? My understanding of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 is that it requires any increase in the powers of the European Parliament to be referred to the House for approval, so I assumed that, for the purposes of section 12 of the 2002 Act, the House was being asked to increase the powers of the European Parliament. Perhaps I have not read the Bill or its explanatory notes correctly, or perhaps I have not correctly understood the Library briefings, but search as I may, I can find no increase in the powers of the European Parliament. Either the subsection is unnecessary or there is some increase in those powers that has not been explained, so will the Minister tell us which it is? If there are to be no increases, I hope that he will remove that subsection. If there are to be increases, we need to know about them so that we can decide whether we are prepared to give the European Parliament more powers.

I think that I shall receive the answer that the provision merely alters the number of member states, but that does not seem to alter the power of an individual member or of all the members collectively. That is not an increase in power, but merely an administrative change, which is an entirely different matter. Could the Minister help us out on that point?

The Minister needs to comment on several institutional issues to which the clause gives rise. Article 2 of the treaty refers to an increase in the size of the European Parliament, and we have considered separate

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legislation to deal with that. Article 58 makes provision for nine more languages, so we shall have 20 languages. If we vote for the measure and add another nine languages, how much extra will the British taxpayer have to pay for that tower of Babel? The permutation of 20 languages each being translated into 19 others beggars belief. If we support the measure, what are we going to do about that?

Article 45 refers to the Commission increasing from 10 members to 25 members. We are being asked to agree to that, but the Government are already locked into discussions on another treaty that would alter that membership of 25. We shall be agreeing to something that the Government do not really want to happen. Article 12 refers to qualified majority voting—in respect of numbers, not the area over which it will be applied—yet the Government are already locked into discussions on extending the scope of qualified majority voting.

If the Government are asking us to agree to that parcel of changes, which are certainly not tidying up but substantial, yet they are already locked into negotiations to try to sort out some of the absurdities to which I have referred, will the Minister indicate that he will give the British public an opportunity to express their view about—

The Chairman: Order. I have already ruled on the referendum point. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not abuse my ruling.

Mr. Wilshire: I apologise, Sir Alan. I shall move on to article 3, which is about the Schengen agreement. I am seriously worried—as, I suspect, are many of my colleagues—about the implications for immigration and asylum seeking of moving the external border of the European Union eastwards. I hope that the Minister can give us some reassurance, as I notice that when the applicant states join they will have some latitude in applying the Schengen acquis. I want to vote with the Minister on the clause, but to persuade me to do so, he must reassure us that we will not be opening a loophole—a weakness in the external borders of the EU—by agreeing to only partial implementation of the acquis in the early stages.

Mr. Bercow: My hon. Friend refers to his anxieties about Schengen. I ordinarily keep a beady eye on the matters that the Committee is being invited to scrutinise, so can he tell us whether, if we vote for clause 1, we should be conscious that subsection (2) thereof provides for a calculated, as opposed to an inadvertent, increase in claims on public expenditure? I had understood no such thing and should be disturbed to discover that it was so, but I need to know.

Mr. Wilshire rose—

The Chairman: Order. Any further explanation of that point will take us well over the line as to whether the remarks of the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) are relevant to clause stand part.

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Mr. Wilshire: I note that you prevented me from saying that I agreed with my hon. Friend, Sir Alan, so I shall not do so.

The last point that I want to raise relates to land access between Kaliningrad and Russia. In a previous incarnation as a member of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, I was closely involved with that issue when discussing it with regard to Poland and the Baltic states.

Mr. Bercow: At length.

Mr. Wilshire: Not on that occasion.

Will the Minister tell us whether the protocol will be able to cope with the dangers and risks involved in that land access? It would be the only place where two parts of a sovereign state are divided by part of the EU. It would be sensible to allow Kaliningrad land access to the rest of the country to which it belongs. However, when we take the trouble to find out about the state of affairs in Kaliningrad—the poverty, the shambles of the economy and whether it can manage to produce any income for its citizens—we have every reason to worry furiously about crime, smuggling and many other things about which we should be extremely wary.

Discussions about Euro-policing are not for this Bill, but if we allow the protocol to pass, under the provisions of clause 1, we must be reassured that we are not opening the door to yet more crime from Russia, which would cause us huge difficulties. It is right for the people of Kaliningrad to be given access to the rest of Russia, but how is that to be policed? Are they halfway down the road to being able to go where they like and do what they like? That worries me enormously.

I am grateful to the Committee for allowing me to raise what I believe are genuine anxieties—although the Minister may not agree. I end as I started: I am an enthusiastic supporter of enlargement, but, as with everything else, when we enter into something—even if we are in favour of it—we should do so with our eyes open. We need to know exactly what we are signing up to. The Minister's helpful interventions have put my mind at rest on some matters. I am sure that he has made a note of the remainder, and I hope that he will be able to respond to my queries so that I can enthusiastically vote with him and deliver the enlargement that he wants, and that we want.

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