HC Deb 23 October 1972 vol 843 cc783-4
39. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on the United Kingdom's application to join the European Economic Community.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

As the House is well aware, the European Communities Act is now on the Statute Book. We have deposited our Instrument of Ratification of the Accession Treaty and the United Kingdom will become a full member of the European Communities on 1st January, 1973. Denmark, too, has ratified and will also become a full member on the same date. The Norwegian decision in no way affects the position of this country.

Mr. Allaun

Does the Foreign Secretary believe that we should remain in the EEC at any cost, even if the effects on our cost of living and our balance of payments situation turn out to be disastrous?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

The hon. Member will appreciate that we have gone into the Community on a carefully calculated cost, not at any cost.

Mr. J. T. Price

Has the Foreign Secretary, in spite of what he has just said, made clear to our new partners in the European Economic Community that the overwhelming majority of people in this country are opposed to the Community in its present form and that they will never forgive this Government for forcing them into the Community without consulting them or obtaining any kind of agreement from the majority of the people in the country? If our European partners know that, they will know that the European Economic Community as at present constituted rests on a very insecure foundation so far as this country is concerned.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

That is the hon. Gentleman's opinion—mine happens to be slightly different—about what people in this country think. Anyhow we shall see at the next General Election.

Mr. Heffer

Then can we have it next week?

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