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Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, as always, I am grateful to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Portsmouth. He was right in the way that he set out his prescription, the third aspect of which was generosity. He spoke, I think, of generosity in the practicalalmost logisticalsense of generosity to those who are poorer than us. However, the right reverend Prelate went further and said something that chimed in my mind. Essentially, he spoke of moral generosity towards people who may be different from usnot worse or better, but different and, therefore, of value to us, as we may be to themwhen he spoke of Islam. I agree entirely with what he said.
Islam is not a monolith, any more than Christianity is. We are dealing with an application that, first of all, we should welcome. It is an extraordinary tribute to the rest of the European Union that Turkey wishes to join us. We should not be mean-minded or small-hearted about that. In that country, the religion is Islam, but the Government aim to be secular. I repeat that there have been extraordinary advances. They are not perfection achieved, but they are determination displayed and evidenced with regard to the Kurds, to education, to the use of language and broadcasting andnot least important to many of us, though not, I am afraid, to allto the abolition of the death penalty.
Lord Bruce of Donington: My Lords, are the Government aware that there are several financial considerations that must be pondered over as a result of the convention? In putting that question, I am put in mind of when I entered politics many years ago. I was always taught that, when evaluating some political action, one had to keep a careful eye, first, on where the money came from and, secondly, where it went. I make that criticism and ask these questions with direct reference to the convention: where is the money coming from, and where will it move?
Over the past two or three years, the British Parliamentand other Parliamentshave virtually abandoned interest in the monetary aspects of the various things that they do. In the Houses of Parliament, we have now even abandoned consideration of the European budget. It gets worse. Are the Government aware that the expenditure that inevitably lies behind every generalised proposal put to the conference must come from somewhere? My guess is that, at the moment, the money comes through virtually unlimited advances from the European Central Bank to the Commission. Nobody knows how much they spend. We are told that so much money is being spent, but nobody says where it comes from. We
My noble friend Lord Bruce of Donington asked several questions. Where is the money coming from? The present estimates are that, in 2006, enlargement will cost the United KingdomI will focus on that questionan extra 200 million eurosabout £130 million. That is about £2 per person. I turn my noble friend's general question back on him: what would be the cost of war, not simply in treasure but in human life and misery?
My noble friend is right to say that we should be cautious and that we should improve budgetary and fiscal control in the European Union. He would say that that is long overdue, and, in many ways, I would echo that. On the other hand, we should not lose sight of the great prize that is offered to us.
Lord Kilclooney: My Lords, I welcome the presentation by the noble and learned Lord the Lord Privy Seal of the Prime Minister's Statement. Also, of course, I welcome the enlargement of the European Union. However, there are several points on which I want to question the noble and learned Lord.
First, as regards the Middle East, following the comments made by the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, can we be assured that in the European Union we shall not continue to be subject to the policy of the United States of America? Can we be assured that we shall press for the removal of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories? And, can we be assured that our policy is different from that of the United States, in that we do not seek the removal of President Arafat as a condition for progressing a settlement in the Middle East? That being so, when the Lord Privy Seal announced that shortly we shall be inviting Palestinian leaders to a conference, will President Arafat be included?
Secondly, I turn to fishingalso mentioned by the noble Baronessand stress the seriousness of the threat to cod fishing for both Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the case of Northern Ireland, we have already had the experience of three years of cod closures in the Irish Sea, and have suffered. Our fishermen have no alternative sources of employment because they live in the rural areas of County Down. Therefore, will it be taken into account by Her Majesty's Government that the Northern Ireland fishermen, unlike any other fishermen in the United Kingdom, have already suffered from cod closures and should therefore be treated specially?
Finally, much as I welcome enlargement and Turkey's application to join the European Union, I would be concerned if we accepted into the European Union a divided Cyprus before there is a settlement in that island.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Kilclooney. I have dealt with the fishing matters and undertake to transmit his concerns, which I recognise as being reasonable. In the Prime Minister's Statement he will have heard that, if there is undue hardship on fishing communities, the Prime Minister is willing to consider additional financial support. But, as the noble Baroness, Lady Williams, said, we cannot have a situation where the fishing stocks are so reduced that there will be no livelihood for anyone. She made a powerful point there.
The noble Baroness, Lady Williams, also made the point regarding the Middle East. I am afraid that I had so many notes which I was scratching down I omitted to deal with that. I apologise for that discourtesy and I thank the noble Lord, Lord Kilclooney, for reminding me. The declaration agreed was quite plain. It condemns suicide bombings, which damage the Palestinian cause. It supports the Palestinians involved in the reform process. With reference to the specific point made by the noble Lord and the noble Baroness, it calls on Israel to halt the excessive use of force, to reverse its settlement policy, and immediately freeze all settlement activity. I am bound to say that we hope to work together with our colleagues and friends in the United States, but we are entitled to have a view, and I remind your Lordships of it. It was the latter five or 10 electrifying minutes of the Prime Minister's speech at the Labour Party Conference where he called for final status negotiations before the end of this year on the basis of the 1967 boundaries.
Lord Howe of Aberavon: My Lords, would the noble and learned Lord acknowledge a rather curious reflection on the magnitude of the change that has taken place? When I recall my first meeting with the Czech communist Foreign Minister, he conceded to me that the bears which he hunted in the hills of his countryside could easily have been Polish as well as Czech. I responded that there was more freedom of movement for bears in those countries than there was for people.
In many ways, that is symbolic of the huge changes that have taken place. It is also symbolicas I recall from having helped draft at least a dozen statements of this kind following European Summit meetingsthat on many occasions it was necessary to try to make bricks without much straw. On this occasion, it must be a matter for huge satisfaction that there are so many real straws with which to compose this Statementabove all, the completion of enlargement and all that goes with it.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My Lords, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Howe of Aberavon, is typically generous. It must be a cause of great gratification to him that what was brought about, in very substantial part, was based on the endeavours that he committed himself tonot always making himself entirely popular with some sections of his own party. I am not making that as a partisan point; it adds to the courage of what he did.
The noble and learned Lord is right. We must be firm. We must continue to look for justice for all in the Middle East. I agree that the European Union is capable of being a very powerful actor in that particular field of conflict. He is absolutely right that we must obtain some final resolution of the precise intricacies of the relationship between the European Union and NATO.
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