HC Deb 25 July 1973 vol 860 c1607
23. Mr. Deakins

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise the issue of EEC political union at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

No, Sir.

Mr. Deakins

Will the right hon. Gentleman make it clear next time he meets his colleagues that this ludicrous commitment by the Government to Common Market political union has no support among the British people, and that neither he nor the Prime Minister has any authority to commit this country to such a concept without a decision having first been taken in Parliament?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

I should not have thought that anyone would object to attempts by the European Community to come to political agreement over as wide an area as possible. There has been one useful example of this lately. The joint approach on matters concerning the Conference on European Security and Co-operation was very effective indeed. This kind of co-operation is desirable.

Mr. Powell

Will my right hon. Friend be careful to make the important distinction between political agreement and collaboration between independent countries, on the one hand, and political union on the other?

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Yes. Our objective of political union has been declared. For the foreseeable future it must be the nine countries working independently but achieving as great a consensus as they can.

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