HC Deb 26 June 1974 vol 875 cc1554-5
39. Mr. Blaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if, in the context of his study of British membership of the EEC, he has identified particular economic or political problems facing the United Kingdom that would be easier to solve if Great Britain were outside rather than inside the European Community; and which these are.

Mr. Hattersley

As my right hon. Friend made clear in his statements of 1st April and 4th June to the EEC Council of Ministers, we are negotiating for success, not failure. The questions raised by the hon. Member do not therefore arise at this stage.

Mr. Blaker

Is that not rather odd, in view of the fact, as the Minister of State will recall, that his right hon. Friend, said in a speech in the House on 9th May 1967 that he could not think of many problems of an economic or political nature which would be easier to solve if we were outside rather than inside the Community? Will the Minister bear that in mind in his negotiations?

Mr. Hattersley

That is no doubt the case. I do not think that any of us would want to change anything that we have done in the past in speaking about or voting upon the Common Market. The essential fact is that our interests are best served if we can remain in on improved terms, and that is the object of our policy.

Mr. Gordon Wilson

In view of the various answers which the Minister has given this afternoon, does he accept that there will be direct representation for Scotland within the EEC only if Scotland is given what it requires and desires namely, self-government? Does the Minister accept that that is the only criterion for direct representation of Scotland within the EEC?

Mr. Hattersley

I do not think that questions on the constitution of Scotland are properly for me. They must be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland or raised during the debate which will be allocated, I am sure, to that subject.