HC Deb 19 April 1993 vol 223 cc54-119
Sir Teddy Taylor

I beg to move amendment No. 57, in page 1, line 10, after '1992', insert `but not Article 201 in Title II thereof'. I have been waiting since four o'clock last Thursday to introduce this important amendment, which is the only one in my name to be selected for separate debate. Unfortunately, I have contracted a cold, but I hope that I shall still be able to make an extensive speech.

It is a great help to have my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General in his place on the Treasury Bench. We regard him as one of the more constructive members of the Government. While we know that they all have their assets, my right hon. Friend is someone who is constructive, looks forward and tries to solve problems.

The amendment is designed to suggest to the Committee how we might solve some of the appalling problems that face the European Community, of which both its supporters and opponents are well aware. We are well aware, from the small number of hon. Members who attend these debates, that hon. Members do not want to listen to the arguments. Nevertheless, there is a deep-down feeling throughout the House of Commons that things are going terribly wrong with the European Community: that the EC's share of world trade is going down and down, that unemployment in the EC is soaring and that expenditure by the EC is riddled with graft and corruption. The tragedy is that no one has the slightest idea what to do about it.

My impression is that most members of the Government party, who are now sickened with the whole EC business, are genuinely not sure what on earth they should do. They are worried about the EC, but they say, "We've got to support the Prime Minister. The negotiations are too far advanced. We don't know which way to turn, so what on earth else should we do?"

The impression that I have gained throughout the whole debate on the treaty is that hon. Members feel that we are stuck on a tightrope, that we are heading towards a cliff and that we cannot turn either to the right or to the left, or even back. No one, apart from the Liberal Democrats—who, I accept, are sincere people, as we have seen in all our debates on the treaty—seems to be genuinely supportive of Maastricht. No one seems to think that Maastricht will be a good deal. The Government talk about Maastricht, warts and all. They say that they do not want to improve Maastricht, despite warts and all. Some of my hon. Friends say, "Don't worry about the Maastricht treaty; the exchange rate mechanism won't come back", even though the treaty makes it clear that we must try to get back into the ERM from 1 January next.

In this amendment I am suggesting an answer that might bring all hon. Members, both supporters and opponents of Maastricht, together and solve some of the problems that worry them. The amendment suggests that we should delete article 201 on page 56 of the treaty.

Mr. Marlow

I have read my hon. Friend's amendment. It is a good one. I am looking forward to the rest of his speech. My hon. Friend suggests, in effect, that we should take the Community's budget away. That is a very good idea. However, would not a better way of approaching it be to adopt another suggestion? My hon. Friend is well aware of the fact that about a fortnight ago some Italian either jumped or was pushed from a 16th floor window in Brussels. There are allegations that he was tied up with the Mafia. There are also allegations that £1,000 million of our money has been misapplied through some fraud related to tobacco. Should there not be a total review of the Commission and of all who work in it, in terms of where there is fraud, where there is not fraud, whether money has been properly applied and the involvement of the Mafia in the Commission? Should not that be a matter of great urgency and should not that inquiry take place before there is any further debate on this wretched piece of paper that we are concerned with?

Sir Teddy Taylor

I appeal to hon. Members not to pay attention to that. It has been tried time and time again. The trouble with people who are positive about the EC is that we have tried all this before. For example, an organisation looked into all the fraud and all the rubbish. It said that it would do the job for us. Then we had Maastricht. A fraud department was to be set up. According to the Maastricht treaty, the idea is that, somehow, the European Parliament will look into all this. I appeal to my hon. Friends not to be misled by that suggestion. It will not work. We have heard talk of the common agricultural policy being reformed. It cannot be reformed. I appeal to the Committee, and in particular to the Paymaster General, to give a message to the European Community about where Britain wants it to go and how we can make the EC work more effectively.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich)

Can the hon. Gentleman emphasise one simple fact: that the powers to audit and change the rules relating to fraud and to take action against those found guilty of defrauding the EC have existed since the earliest treaties and that the European Parliament has never chosen to use those powers properly, nor has any subsequent Commission?

5.45 pm
Sir Teddy Taylor

The hon. Lady is so right. I heard her in European Standing Committee A, before I was chucked off it for asking too many questions, rightly saying over and over again that fraud had been proved and that lots of money, which could be spent on helping the poor and pensioners, is being thrown away. The hon. Lady pointed out that the European Parliament has the powers but that they are not being used and that they cannot be used. That is the great tragedy. Instead of laughing at this, I appeal to the House of Commons to say, "Where the blazes are we going?" We all know that the European Community is in a terrible mess, that democracy is being destroyed, that unemployment is soaring and that Europe's share of world trade is going down, so what on earth, I ask the Government, do they think we should do about it?

Mr. Marlow

If, as may well be the case, the Commission is as rotten with the Mafia as gorgonzola cheese is with maggots, who is it that can sort it out? Is it only the Commission, or can Her Majesty's Government do something about it? Unless somebody does something about it soon, there is not a lot of point in proceeding with this treaty, or any other European legislation.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is one of the most conscientious people attending these debates. I know that his heart is in the right place, but I appeal to him not to look for an answer in the Commission. It cannot be found there. I appeal to him not to look for an answer in setting up new Committees or new organisations. We have been through all that. I appeal to him, as someone who represents very fairly and adequately the interests of farmers in this country, to ask what on earth can be done about the common agricultural policy. The answer is, nothing. The CAP is getting worse and worse. The tragedy is that nowadays nobody talks about the fact that the food mountains are breaking all records, because they know that there is nothing that we can do about the CAP. We all know that the CAP is in worse trouble than ever before, so nobody wants to talk about it.

Mr. Walter Sweeney (Vale of Glamorgan)

My hon. Friend drew the analogy of a car going towards a cliff, unable to turn left or right, or to turn round and go back. Would not it be fair to describe this vehicle as one in which the accelerator is stuck down and that we in this country are required to chip in and load that vehicle, which has enormous petrol tanks, with a very expensive load of fuel in order to enable that vehicle to pursue its headlong pace towards the precipice?

Sir Teddy Taylor

How right my hon. Friend is. That is the key fact that we should think about. We are putting in more and more money and, as a result of Maastricht, there will be a lot more money going into the European Community. This year it amounts to £2.6 billion. I just ask those who sit on the Treasury Bench to think about what we could do with that money, if we had it. Let us take, for example, VAT on electricity and gas. It is terribly unpopular. Old people think that it is dreadful. We, sadly, on these Benches voted for it because the Government appeared to be going bust and we had to get some money from somewhere. If we did not have to make that contribution to the European Community, this VAT levy on electricity and gas would not be needed. We should have a lot of money to spare. That is what we must think about.

What would be the effect of having the European Community without any funding at all? Some of my hon. Friends are absolutely right when they say that we are being asked to put more and more money into it. My first question to the Paymaster General, because I know that he is one of the Ministers who will tell us the truth, relates to the fact that as a result of article 201 it was decided at Edinburgh, on top of all the resources going to the European Community, that there would have to be a new one—a fifth resource.

The Commission was asked to give its view of what this should be. This morning's papers tell us that a new EC tax on energy is being discussed which will result in electricity bills being put up by a further 20 per cent. Apparently, that is to be the first of the European Community's own resources, the one which will be a European tax. The papers say that the British Government are not very happy about it. If we go ahead with it and say to people that, on top of VAT on their electricity bills, there will be a new, extra Common Market tax of 20 per cent., they will be very angry and will probably lose even more faith in democracy.

The purpose of the amendment is not just to raise a marginal argument about the proposed changes and the extension of EC spending, but to try to find an answer to the problems of the EC. My hope is that the Government will approve the amendment. I hope that they will, because they have been flexible in their attitude and have now agreed to back new clause 75, which was originally said to be a time bomb. They have now thought again about that. I am seeking to remove every single word in the treaty about European Community resources. That might persuade other member states in the European Community to ask themselves whether the EC would be better off or worse off if it did not have a single pound or ecu to spend and if it returned to its original concept, approved by the people of Britain in a referendum, of establishing a body of nations to co-operate on trade, friendship and related matters.

I do not seek to hide the fact that I was one of the "no" campaigners in that referendum and I have never had cause to regret my decision. In the horrendous mess we now face in Europe, with mass unemployment, with horrendous graft and corruption, with the ever-declining share of world trade and with unworkable and uncontrollable policies, there can be little doubt that everyone, with the possible exception of the Mafia, would be better off if the Brussels bureaucracy was deprived of all its resources. How is the money collected under article—

Mr. Marlow

I am listening to my hon. Friend with interest and I am very keen to know what the effects of the amendment would be. My hon. Friend is aware that the treaty establishes something called the cohesion fund, which is a means whereby the Commission gives favours to people in return for support. My understanding is hat the cohesion fund should not come into effect until ratification, yet I read last week that the cohesion fund is beginning to take effect already and that money is already being provided through it. Would the amendment stop that abuse? As we have not ratified the treaty and as Parliament has not agreed to the treaty yet, it must be an abuse that money is being spent on something coming out of the Maastricht treaty.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Oh yes. My hon. Friend is so right. If he votes for the amendment, that abuse will be stopped. The cash should be cut off. What the Government could then do to save Europe would be—this is our answer—to have a Europe without any cash at all.

Mr. Cash

I am sure that my hon. Friend was not referring to me when he made that remark.

I refer to article F.3 of the treaty and I am sure that my hon. Friend will not mind my reading it out. The article says: The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and to carry through its polices. I hope that I am not pre-empting a point that my hon. Friend is likely to make shortly. That article comes under title I, "Common Provisions", which is being shoved through disgracefully by prerogative and which is not part of the Bill. It provides for the union to have the means necessary to attain its objectives. That is critical to the question of own resources. How on earth can anyone justify, against the background of the requirements of this place—this point is tied up with the social chapter and with all the other matters that we have discussed, such as raising taxation—the provision going through by prerogative? It will be the basis for all the corruption and fraud that we see in prospect.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is putting a genuine point and is saying that there is something else in the treaty, as hon. Members may know. There is probably no one among the newer, younger and more active hon. Members who has played a greater part than my hon. Friend in drawing people's attention to the dangers of all the spending, fraud and corruption. I appeal to my hon. Friend not to ask how we can debate article F.3. We shall not be allowed to debate article F.3. How can we control the spending, fraud and corruption? I believe that we need the support of the Government and that we need a vote by Parliament to say that the British point of view is that we should have a Europe without any resources.

Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)

The hon. Gentleman referred to the report from Brussels of a 20 per cent. rise in electricity charges. Is he aware that that will be used as a sop in the Denmark referendum? Because the politicians in Denmark feel that they may lose the referendum, they believe that, to get the green lobby, they must have a rise in the price of electricity.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Terrible things are happening in the attempt to get votes and support. We know what happened with the Republic of Ireland, for example. I feel sorry for some of the ports of Northern Ireland which now find themselves facing wholly unfair competition because of what Maastricht will do, through the cohesion fund, to ports just south of the border. Many of these things are done for votes. I appeal again to the Committee: although there are terrible things and although they are getting worse, let us try to find some answer to the problem.

My answer is that the British Government should say, "We want the future to be a Europe without funds. We think that the problems would be solved if funds were removed. If we do not do that, things will simply get worse." Where does the money come from? At present there are four components.

Mr. Stephen Day (Cheadle)

Is not my hon. Friend saying in reality that a Europe without funds is no Europe at all? Is not he really telling the House that that is what he desires? Is not that the nub of the issue? My hon. Friend undoubtedly speaks eloquently about protecting the sovereignty of this place. He also mentioned the Irish Republic. Is not he really saying that he believes that Britain's position in the new Europe that he envisages—that is, no Europe at all—relative to Brussels, if it carries on without us, will be the same as Dublin's position relative to London before the Irish Republic gained some sovereignty by joining the EC?

Sir Teddy Taylor

Goodness gracious, I am saying exactly the opposite. If we have an EC without funding, of course there can still be free trade, co-operation and friendship. How can my hon. Friend say to his constituents—I am sure that he has many poor constituents who face hardship, whom he looks after very well—"I am terribly sorry. We are spending a fortune on fraud, on tobacco and on agriculture. We have a bank that is wasting money like water and there is nothing that I can do about it." My hon. Friend may believe in a good future for the EC. I believe that it will end up in tears the way it is going. It will end up with people marching in the streets. It will end up with mass unemployment. If there was no funding, the EC could carry on doing all the positive things that some people think it can do, such as promoting free trade and friendship, but it would not waste money with policies that inevitably lead to graft and corruption, as we well see.

I see that the conscientious hon. Member for Harlow (Mr. Hayes) has just walked into the Chamber. I am sure that he must be aware of many poor constituents who face hardship. He must be very angry when he hears about the money being wasted in fraud and corruption in the EC. His people want to know what he intends to do about it. The answer is that there is nothing that we can do about it because of the EC's crazy policies. The only thing to do is to take away the money and put it under the democratic control of member states.

Mr. Jerry Hayes (Harlow)

What I shall do about it is to vote for the Maastricht treaty so that the courts can intervene to stop these things happening, which they cannot do under the treaty of Rome.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is one of the younger and more enthusiastic hon. Members. I appeal to him to look back at the assurances given in the past. Baroness Thatcher, who used to be the Conservative Prime Minister —a splendid lady—also thought that she had the answer. She said, "Vote for the Single European Act. It is great. We shall get legally binding controls on spending. We shall not be able to spend a penny more on the agriculture policy. Things will automatically happen." She found out what happened. I am afraid that she was misled in the same way as my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow has been. What happened was that, whenever the controls were breached, the EC Commission, followed by the Council of Finance Ministers, simply said that it would have a metric year of 10 months, with 12 months' income and 10 months' spending. That is how it kept within the legally binding restrictions.

I point out to my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow that we have been told this time and time again. Decent, honourable, sincere Members like himself have been misled. If we carry on his way with Maastricht, we shall end up in a horrible mess of even more overspending, more fraud and more corruption. His constituents, for whom he works so hard, will suffer just as much as anyone else.

Mr. Barry Porter (Wirral, South)

I am following the hon. Gentleman's argument with some care. There is a point that I do not understand. There appear to be rules and regulations through the Single European Act and so on about fraud and corruption. Nobody takes any notice of them and nothing happens. Why should whatever is contained in the Maastricht treaty be treated in any other way? If things are not in the national interest of Germany, Greece, and Italy—whether we are talking about olive oil, tobacco or a central bank—why should they take any notice of this treaty any more than they take any notice of the Single European Act?

Sir Teddy Taylor

Those countries will notice if we take the money away because the practices will stop. One of the interesting points of this debate—I hope that my hon. Friend has noticed—is that the newspapers that used to be terribly supportive of the EC have now become doubtful. Instead of my hon. Friend listening to me, which might involve some heartache for him, he should go to the Library and read, of all papers, today's Daily Mail. It used to be one of the most terrible papers which always presented one side of the Euro debate. It has a wonderful article today in which it gives a detailed explanation of how the most appalling frauds are going on in Greece. It points out how fraud is basically uncontrollable in Greece.

6 pm

How do the frauds work? In the case of olive oil, the Daily Mail states: In order to show that non-existent olive crops are real, businessmen have set up an ingenious network of fake companies that supposedly buy the produce. Of 152 companies registered as producing olive oil, only 44 actually do so. The EC pays 160 drachmas, about 50p—for every kilo of olives which ends up as bottled or canned oil. Of the 300,000 tons of olives produced annually, only about 50,000 tons go into the country's shops as oil. But subsidies were claimed last year on about 140,000 tons—amounting to £46 million in illegal handouts. If the Daily Mail, as a great supporter of the EC, is getting worried, I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, South (Mr. Porter) must be worried, because nothing is being done about it. It is terrible that open, basic, criminal fraud should be occurring in Greece. Money is pouring in and it is appalling that great damage and distress have been caused. My hon. Friend, who I know has taken a great interest in Euro matters, should ask what he can do about that dreadful problem. The answer is nothing at all unless he agrees that we should take away the money and let every member state look after its own resources under democratic control.

My hope is that the Committee will approve the amendment.

Mr. Barry Porter

I have taken little part in the debate over the past however many days, but I think that the Committee is in danger of reaching its boredom threshold, as has happened in the rest of the country.

Does not my hon. Friend make my point for me? Regardless of what is contained in the treaty of Rome and the Single European Act, countries behave in their own national interests and nobody does anything about it. What is so different about Maastricht? We will carry on acting in our national interest, not in connection with olive oil or tobacco, but perhaps in connection with a central bank or a common currency. None of this will happen and it is not worth all the excitement or the time spent debating it.

Sir Teddy Taylor

But the frauds are happening today. They are known as monkey crops. Of course, if there were no EC funds the Greek Government could, if they wanted to, pay for a lot of fraudulent activities for the payment of the production of goods that do not exist. If there were not EC funding, that kind of crazy activity could not take place unless the Government of Greece paid for it.

Mr. Michael Spicer

My hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, South (Mr. Porter) appears to be arguing, "Such corruptions go on in other countries. So what? The Maastricht treaty will not make any difference". Is not the whole point about the own resources issue—the one directly addressed by my hon. Friend in his amendment —that we are talking not about those countries' own resources, but about our resources? That is what is at stake and what my hon. Friend has drawn to the attention of the House. If it were just the Greeks being corrupt in Greece with their own money, it would not matter. Should not the fund be called the "other people's resources" fund rather than the "own resources" fund?

Sir Teddy Taylor

How right my hon. Friend is. Although I am sure that we will always have some graft and corruption, we want to stop such corruption being done with Euro funds. The existence of own resources means that, even though we have splendid Agriculture Ministers who work hard and try to do their best for the Community, there is nothing that they can do. I believe that the only way in which we can move forward is to take away those funds.

Rev. Ian Paisley

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, unfortunately, such things are happening even though the Government, and successive Governments, have done their best to police all those arrangements? While we keep to the letter of the EC law, other Governments do not. Therefore, our country has to bow down and take all the stick.

Sir Teddy Taylor

I appreciate how my hon. Friend must feel, because Britain is a law-abiding country, whereas the other countries are basically ignoring the law and grabbing money through fraudulent, filthy graft, greed and corruption. What are we going to do about it? I appeal to the Committee not merely to acknowledge that the problems exist but to consider what we can do about them.

Mr. Day

In dealing with that point, my hon. Friend should recognise that the Maastricht treaty essentially increases the powers of the European Court to deal with such problems as non-compliance to which some of my hon. Friends seem to object so strongly. The mechanism for dealing with the corruption is in the treaty. We should support the treaty and get rid of the abuse.

Sir Teddy Taylor

If my hon. Friend believes that—and I am sure that he will reflect on his view—he should look back at our previous debates. We have repeatedly been told, "New measures are being taken, new bodies set up, new fraud commissions created." We have been told that all kinds of things are happening, but such measures have never worked and can never work. Perhaps my hon. Friend is contemplating voting for the proposals and has been misled into thinking that giving a new power to the European Parliament or saying that we are giving an institution such as the Court of Auditors new significance and increased importance—will help. If so, he should bear in mind the fact that, for years, the Court of Auditors has been publishing information on the basis of regular research which shows how money is pouring down a big drain, but that, sadly, nothing happens; things simply get worse and worse.

With the Maastricht treaty, we are simply obtaining yet more assurances that something will be done while at the same time giving out more money—more own resources. The problem will get worse. If my hon. Friend has been misled, as we have been misled in the past, he should say, "Let us look at the crazy policies that create all the spending and do something about them."

What started as a moderate and limited amount of spending by Brussels has increased and is now set to increase further. One or two hon. Members see some hope in Maastricht. To my mind, cause for optimism is to be found only in future estimates of total EC spending and of our own contribution. The trouble is that they are invariably wrong. I suppose that they help to restore fading morale, at least.

The Foreign Office is particularly helpful in this regard. On 11 June, at column 438 of Hansard, the Chancellor of the Exchequer explained that our net contribution for 1992 was forecast to be £2.6 billion, which is about £4 per week per British family. However, in its colourful and wildly misleading pamphlet, produced at great expense and entitled "Britain in Europe", the Foreign Office explained that the figure was actually £1.7 billion. When I asked about the difference, I was told that different ways of doing sums had been used in each case, which is true. Similarly, in Edinburgh, where the new own resources regime was discussed, we were assured that there were firm controls on spending. Hon. Members will see that commitments agreed at Edinburgh were greatly in excess of the agreed own resources ceiling.

The question that I put to the House is simply whether it makes sense to have any own resources at all. Does it make Europe any stronger, any bigger, any fitter or any more just? Does it help jobs or prosperity? Frankly, I think that it would be infinitely better for those who believe in Europe if we scrapped own resources altogether.

The first problem that inevitably emerges when substantial own resources are made available to a non-democratic structure based on nonsensical policies is that a great deal of cash goes in waste, extravagance and fraud. I could provide many examples, but I shall restrict myself to three.

Mr. Sweeney

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving way in mid-flow. Is he arguing—in a nutshell—that, if we prevent money from being dished out throughout the Community, we automatically prevent graft and corruption by drying off the font from which the funds that finance that corruption emanate? Playing devil's advocate, let me ask my hon. Friend this. One of the arguments advanced in favour of this treaty of European union is that the European Court will henceforth have power to impose sanctions in the form of substantial—indeed, unlimited —fines on member states that transgress the provisions of European law. What would my hon. Friend say to those who might argue that opportunities for graft and corruption will effectively be eliminated, or at least dramatically reduced, if the treaty is ratified?

Sir Teddy Taylor

Why should we bother even investigating the possibility of whether the Maastricht treaty will make it more effective to control those policies? If we scrap the policies, we will guarantee success. For example, if we did not have the common agricultural policy, which is based on opportunities for fraud and corruption, the problems would not exist.

Obviously, there may be graft and corruption in every member state. However, if there are democratic controls and if people know that it is their money that is being spent, there will be some kind of control. If we do away with the policies which are not subject to democratic control and which countries regard as a means of pinching from other countries, we will do away with a great deal of the graft and corruption.

We know that there is an enormous amount of graft and corruption in Greece. Why should the Greek Government bother much about what is happening unless they have a special wish to pursue sensible policies based on objectivity? Why should the Greek Government bother as they are basically pinching money from other member states? That is quite a nice position.

We know that some dreadful things are happening in the Republic of Ireland. If money is pouring into the Republic of Ireland for graft and corruption, why should the Government there be bothered? What about the terrible amounts of money paid to the Mafia in Italy for delivering non-existent fruit juice to a firm in Palermo? Why should the Italians bother about that when the money is simply being taken from Brussels? If there were democratic controls and the money involved belonged to the country concerned, the problems would fade away.

I want to consider three specific examples of how waste and corruption arise inevitably from the existence of own resources. First, there were the astonishing revelations which originally appeared in that splendid paper the Financial Times about the wild and extravagant spending of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is headed by a rather unusual Frenchman who has no banking experience and whose sole claim to fame is that he impressed President Mitterrand when they met in a nightclub.

We have all read about the monstrous expenditure of the bank on its temporary accommodation, on its replacement marble, on its very extravagant parties and on those ridiculous private jets which were three times as dear as the British private jets that could have been borrowed. No tax was paid on all that. We should not ask ourselves why the issue has, according to the press, apparently infuriated MEPs. Instead, we should ask ourselves how all that could happen when the bank was operating under the control of a Euro-board that includes our own excellent Chancellor of the Exchequer.

We know that our Chancellor of the Exchequer is a tough man who watches spending very carefully indeed. We know that he is worried about every penny of expenditure in this country. However, that Frenchman is operating on the board on which sits not only our Chancellor of the Exchequer, but Finance Ministers from other countries and yet it goes on and nothing is done about it.

The plain fact is not that our Chancellor of the Exchequer is at fault, but that such wild spending is uncontrollable under the EC system. Instead of trying to say who is to blame or that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made an appalling mess of the issue, it would be better if we recognised that the system was wrong and that something should be done about it.

My second example relates to the astonishing and worrying tale of that pathetic EC official who fell to his death from a window in the Commission's office.

Mr. Spearing

Before the hon. Gentleman leaves the EBRD, surely the Committee cannot leave the issue of the governorship and the responsibilities of the Chancellor of the Exchequer just like that. The Paymaster General is in the Committee this afternoon. Should not we have some explanation from him about the conduct of the governor, who is acting on our behalf and who presumably guarantees the bank with taxpayers' money?

Sir Teddy Taylor

I believe that that would be unfair. As we know, the Paymaster General is one of the most decent and, in my view—I mean this sincerely—honourable members of the Government. I suggest that we should not say who is to blame. There is nothing that we can do about it.

The Paymaster General (Sir John Cope)

I apologise for interrupting my hon. Friend, particularly as he was being polite to me. My interruption has nothing to do with whether I think that he might damage my career if he continues in that fashion. I simply want to draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that the EBRD is not a European Community institution. Although there are questions that hon. Members and Ministers may properly ask, and have properly asked, about the conduct of that institution, it is not an EC institution and it would be wrong to discuss it under this Bill, let alone under this amendment.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Of course, I accept that it is not an EC institution. However, the Minister is aware that it stems from Euro discussions on how to help Russia. I understand that membership of the governing body comprises EC members.

Let us forget all about the bank. Let us pretend that it does not exist and talk simply about the Commission official who jumped from a window in Brussels. As he jumped from Jacques Delors' office window, I think that he must have had something to do with the EC. He was the chap who had been masterminding what The Observer called an astonishing tobacco swindle which filched the equivalent of £1 for every one of the EC's 320 million inhabitants.

6.15 pm

The Observer further alleged that the sad Mr. Antonio Quatraro was believed to be working for the Mafia. Although he was basically suspended from work for over a year, he still enjoyed a tax-free salary of about £100,000 a year. Despite all the alleged reforms in the tobacco regime, the fact is that the monstrous business of growing high-tar tobacco in Europe and then dumping it in the third world and eastern Europe is costing the EC more than £1,000 million a year—about £3 a head per Euro citizen.

That is being done under own resources. This Government and other Governments have been trying to do something about the tobacco regime year after year, but the situation is getting much worse. The only way to improve matters would be to scrap own resources altogether. The EC must operate without any funding. Clearly, nothing can be done about that continuing and growing scandal. I am obviously sorry for a man who jumps from a window and kills himself on a salary of £100,000 a year. I am sorry for his wife and children. There are all kinds of personal tragedies that might stem from that. However, we must consider the most grotesque tragedy of that money being spent on crime and fraud when there are so many other better ways in which we could spend it.

Mr. Sweeney

Does my hon. Friend accept that it is not simply a matter of corruption and fraud? The very fact that the EC in effect subsidises and encourages the production of tobacco is widely deplored by members of the public, Governments and Health Ministers probably in all member states of the Community. However, year after year, public money—money belonging to the British public and the public in every member state—is spent on the artificial encouragement of the tobacco industry.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, but what can we do about it? Ministers would also agree with my hon. Friend. It is shocking and scandalous, but there is nothing that we can do about it. Our Ministers have tried hard to do something, but if other Ministers had tried, too, something would have happened. However, expenditure simply increases, as does the amount of fraud and corruption in places like Greece. More and more money is being spent.

In fact, the EC has decided to set up an anti-smoking campaign to try to counteract what is happening. That is the kind of nonsensical answer that we get from the EC. It does not try to solve the problem, it simply tries to find a way to spend more money. If my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Sweeney) wants to stop the scandals of the tobacco expenditure, he will succeed only by scrapping own resources. There is no other way to solve the problem.

My third example relates to the disgraceful scandal of the CAP. Nothing sickens me more than to hear Ministers announcing the almost quarterly event of new reform plans. We all know that the policy is in a greater mess than ever before. EC expenditure has broken all previous records, even though Ministers continue to say that the expenditure will come down. The mountains of cereals have also broken all previous records.

Fraud and corruption are endemic in the EC's agriculture policy. It was typical to read of the £70 million subsidy under the dairy regime paid for sending two lots of milk powder to the Soviet Union and then to buy back the same milk powder as animal feed. The first shipment was dispatched from Italy to Austria and the exporters received the first subsidy to compensate for the difference between the high price in the EC and the low price in Austria.

The milk was then sold to the Soviet Union, with another subsidy, to help the Soviet Union in its new commitment to democracy. It was then returned immediately to Europe, with the usual fraudulent documents, as animal feed with the help of a further huge subsidy. No one is sure about the next port of call, but I have been told that the milk is still going round. That is a clear example of specific subsidies being paid through the Eurosystem. What on earth can we do about it?

The Minister is well aware—because he is one of the nice ones—that I continue to ask such questions. I continue to say, "Here is a scandal, here is a subsidy and here is something specific with names and addresses, amounts and the rest of it". However, nothing can be done.

Mr. Cryer

The hon. Gentleman knows that I was in the European Community for five years. During that time, such fraud was going on. At one point, the EC Commission pleaded that it did not have the money to fulfil its obligations to 200 Sheffield steel workers who had been made redundant and, therefore, could be retrained using money from the Common Market. Those unemployed workers could not get the money from the Common Market because Commissioner Manuel Marin withheld it for 12 months on the alleged basis of a shortage of money. The steel workers were not allowed to collect unemployment pay because they were on an EC course. Therefore, they had to borrow money from the Department of Social Security to eke out a miserable existence for 12 months. That is how the EC applies its priorities. It neglects real areas of genuine poverty for which such money could be used.

Sir Teddy Taylor

That is another terrible story and I hope that the Government have listened to it. I could give the hon. Gentleman innumerable cases. I have pleaded with the Government, saying "Here is problem after problem. What can we do about it?" We all have a high regard for British Governments of all parties. Because we have a splendid civil service, the Government have tried to run things in a proper and agreeable way to help our people and to ensure that money is spent properly and fairly. Here we have a vast and ever-increasing amount of money. I am sure that Treasury Ministers, who are good Ministers, must be worried sick about all this money being spent on silly things when there are so many things on which we need to build at home.

Mr. Brian Wilson (Cunninghame, North)

Before the hon. Gentleman moves on from agricultural fraud, I put to him this example. I was on the island of Lewis last week. My octogenarian father-in-law had received an extraordinarily convoluted form called the IACS form, which must be one of the most obtuse documents anyone has ever been asked to fill in. My father-in-law, who has two and a half acres, was being asked to fill in the form with all sorts of cartography and to attach appendices. In the accompanying letter, a Minister explained that the form was necessary to counter fraud in the EC.

While I do not support the general thrust of the hon. Gentleman's arguments, perhaps he should suggest to his ministerial friends that it is not necessary for the same form to be filled in by a crofter with two and a half acres in Lewis, a large farmer somewhere in the south of England and an olive oil producer in Corfu because the problem of fraud is scarcely the same in each of those parts of the European Community.

Sir Teddy Taylor

I am sorry about the hon. Gentleman's elderly relative in that lovely part of Scotland. Once again, it is the EC saying that it must try something new to stop the fraud, so it is making all these people fill out those big, complicated forms. Believe it or not, the EC is holding conferences and classes to guide farmers on how to fill out the forms. It is yet another pathetic attempt to say, "We have to do something". As long as we have the sort of problems that exist in Italy, Greece and elsewhere, it is simply a big joke. It will simply mean that many British farmers will fill in lots of complicated forms. It will be good for the paper industry.

Instead of the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) saying, "What about my poor grandfather and what about the poor crofters in Skye?", he should say, "What will I do about the problem?" To stand up in the Committee and complain does not achieve anything. Hon. Members who are just as conscientious as the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North have complained about such matters for years, but the problem only gets worse. The hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell), who is one of the most conscientious attenders at such debates—he is a good man, but he supports the silly EC—should say "What can I do about it?" If he votes for Maastricht, he knows that the amount of money spent on resources will increase and the amount of fraud will increase. Despite all that the EC can do about it, the spending will get worse. It is very sad.

Mr. Knapman

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the fact that we voted an increase of funds for the common agricultural policy as recently as the week before Easter? We voted an extra £150 million only a fortnight ago.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is right. I can think of what I would do with £150 million in places such as Southend and Essex. I am sure that all hon. Members feel affronted when they find that people are being told, "I am sorry, we cannot sort out these little parts on the pavement because the local authorities do not have any money. We cannot attend to cleaning school windows as we should do. We cannot do things for poor people. We cannot increase pensions as they should we because we do not have the money". I appeal to all hon. Members. I am sure that pensioners have told hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, "Why should we pay this extra amount of money in VAT on gas and electricity?" We have to say that they must pay it because the Government have run out of money. The Labour party will say that it is because the Government have made a mess. If we did not have to pay our net contribution this year, we could reduce VAT substantially for many people. The increase in VAT is terrible and something must be done. I am trying to be constructive in making my suggestion.

Mr. Michael Spicer

Is not it part of the bizarre conundrum that—partly in answer to the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson), who was complaining about his poor relation having to fill out these forms— the hon. Gentleman's relation will probably get a lot of money for filling in the form? Instead of farming, he will be filling out forms. A new industry will be created called the filling out forms industry. The money from consumers goes in and people are paid to fill out the forms. That is what will happen. It is an absurd and bizarre situation.

Sir Teddy Taylor

My hon. Friend is right. I do not want to move away from the amendment, but I shall simply make a brief point. I have done the calculations. I hope that the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North will tell his grandfather that, if we did away with the common agricultural policy, all farmers in Britain with more than 40 hectares could be presented with a cheque for £127,000, fully indexed for inflation on 1 January, at ceremonies in village halls. All farmers with less than 40 hectares, including the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North, could get £40,000. Such payments would be indexed for inflation. Of course, the hon. Gentleman will say, "My grandfather does not get £40,000". However, if he adds up everything, he will find that he gets that amount.

If we scrapped the common agricultural policy, we could tell all farmers in Britain, "If you have more than 40 hectares, here is your £127,000. If you have less than 40 hectares, here is your £40,000. You can do whatever you like. You can grow what you like or go where you like." We would have no administration and we would save the Government a fortune.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)

Dame Janet, I treasure being called a good man by the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor). That has never happened before. I was a member of the budget committee and the budget sub-committee. When I was a member of the indirectly elected European Parliament, I was in the distinguished company of such perceptive members as Martin Bangemann and Senator Andreotti. We looked at a number of—

Mr. Richard Shepherd

Martin Bangemann is now the Commissioner.

Mr. Dalyell

That is not a generous comment from the hon. Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Mr. Shepherd). Often, there were allegations of fraud. On further investigation, as in Friuli, it turned out that the allegations had been grossly exaggerated and sometimes were non-existent. I am a defender of Brussels on this matter.

Sir Teddy Taylor

I accept the hon. Gentleman's sincerity. If he reads the detailed reports of the Court of Auditors, he will find that they have been through everything. He should examine the spending. I ask him to look in the Library at today's Daily Mail, which gives details of what happens in Greece. Newspapers will not publish specific details without having some objective base, especially a pro-EC paper such as the Daily Mail. The hon. Gentleman must accept that a lot of the fraud exists. It is specific and scandalous. He must know that, if one has a lunatic policy which invites fraud, inevitably it must go on and on.

Mr. Cryer

It is not merely a question of fraud. The fact that the EC is in no way accountable and at one stage removed from directly elected Parliaments such as this one allows it to splash out money without any regard to responsibility. For example, when Spain and Portugal entered the Community, there was not enough room to house all the officials that were required from those two new member states. So the EC sent home 250 well-paid officials on full salary until their age of retirement, when they would receive a reduced pension. The pensions were not very much reduced.

The EC simply spent millions of pounds sending people home to do nothing. It was like an EC mountain of officials doing nothing. That is the pervasive mentality. If people do not know how to handle something they create a huge reservoir or mountain of it and pay everyone to keep it. That mentality pervades the whole EC. It is corrupt not only because it gives backhanders—that occurs, too—but because there is a corruption of thought. It has no clear accountability in spending other people's money.

6.30 pm
Sir Teddy Taylor

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has raised those important issues. I wish further to emphasise that what we are saying tonight is in no sense anti-EC, anti-Europe, anti-French or anti-German. I am complaining about the destruction of democracy. When democratic control is destroyed, terrible things always happen. That is the great problem.

Mr. Sweeney

Will my hon. Friend join me in discerning a certain irony? For the fourth time we have a Conservative Government committed in their manifesto to reducing the amount of paperwork for small businesses. They have tried to make small businesses more efficient so that they can survive the recession and thrive in the future. Yet simultaneously we have a steadily increasing burden of bureaucratic intervention at the level of the European Community.

Does not my hon. Friend find it strange that our Government should help businesses, for example, by increasing the threshold for VAT so that the number of forms to be filled in is reduced, yet simultaneously take the nation further towards European union? Regardless of his views on the European Community, which he has made clear since before we joined the Community, does my hon. Friend agree that this treaty is a treaty too far?

Sir Teddy Taylor

Yes, my hon. Friend is right. It is a treaty too far. It will simply make things worse. The trouble is that my hon. Friends who support the treaty know it. I find that almost everyone to whom I speak privately—apart from a few fanatics, whom one always finds—accepts that Maastricht will make the European position worse. There will be more fraud, more expenditure and more involvement. People always say, "But what can we do?"

Mr. Michael Spicer

My hon. Friend has just used the word "fanatics". Is he referring rather indelicately to the two Front-Bench teams. or does he have some other people in mind?

Sir Teddy Taylor

I am not referring to the two Front-Bench teams. I find that when I ask people on the Front Benches who support the Maastricht treaty what good it will do, they say, "Don't worry too much, Teddy."

Mr. Stephen Milligan (Eastleigh)

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Sir Teddy Taylor

Here is one of them.

Mr. Milligan

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for putting me in this category. He mentioned fraud and bureaucracy and asked what the treaty would do about them. Does he agree that the strengthening of the Court of Auditors is a useful step forward in preventing fraud? As for bureaucracy, is he aware that as a result of the beginning of the adoption of subsidiarity, in the past year the Commission has reduced by two thirds the number of directives that it has produced?

Sir Teddy Taylor

I appeal to my hon. Friend to look back at what has happened in all our years of membership of the EC. He said that the treaty would improve the position of the Court of Auditors. How will it improve it? It simply proposes to call the court an institution and change its role in some way. The Court of Auditors has published wonderful detailed reports on the most appalling fraud and corruption year after year. Why has the position not improved?

I ask my hon. Friend the Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Milligan) to read his Daily Mail today. It is the most fanatically pro-EEC newspaper that one can find. Yet it gives firm and specific details of the most appalling fraud. I appreciate that my hon. Friend is a great enthusiast for Maastricht. Whatever his view of the Maastricht thing, I plead with him to think about what has happened in the past and all the assurances that have been given. If he genuinely believes that Maastricht will make the position better, I appeal to him to consider what happened and ask whether it will make the slightest difference if the Court of Auditors is given perhaps a bigger office, a bigger car for its chairman or more importance.

My hon. Friend mentioned subsidiarity. I do not wish to stray out of order, but I wrote to our splendid Prime Minister the other day about the old problem of Sikhs and their turbans. I asked why he did not use subsidiarity to save the Sikhs from being forced to wear helmets. I asked whether we could decide the issue here in Britain. It matters to the Sikhs. It is an important religious issue. He wrote back a lovely friendly letter, as Prime Ministers always do, saying that he was reluctant to go to the EC in case it took away the powers that we already have in Britain.

If my hon. Friend the Member for Eastleigh thinks that Maastricht and subsidiarity will solve the problem, I beg him to examine my compromise plan. I have presented my plan today in a friendly spirit. I am saying that people can have their European Community if it is one without resources. How would the things that my hon. Friend wants to achieve be weakened by that? All that we achieve by giving EC resources is to make things worse for the Community and undermine its spirit.

Mr. Cash

I understand that my hon. Friend wishes to make rapid progress, but is he aware that the European Commission has issued a document entitled "Euromyths and Misunderstandings"? With respect to the issue of turbans or helmets, it accuses my hon. Friend of lying. It says: There is no Community law that makes anyone wear a helmet. Legislation in this area is entirely the responsibility of respective national governments. Is he aware that I spoke recently to 2,500 Sikhs in the midlands? I am sure that my hon. Friend has spoken to others. They certainly do not agree with the rubbish that is churned out by the European Commission.

Sir Teddy Taylor

I do not wish to stray out of order, but a chap called John Drew has just retired as the boss of the European Commission's office in London. I wrote him a long letter. I said, "Mr. Drew, although I do not like the EEC, I have always thought that you are a good guy." I asked him to sort out the issue of turbans and helmets immediately because what "Euromyths and Misunderstandings" said was a pack of nonsense.

I must return to the amendment. The last time that we passed legislation, we were told about a new exciting fraud dept in the EC which would sort things out. Now we are told that the European Parliament will do the job for us. But we should.realise that nothing can realistically be done unless we accept the suggestion in my amendment that the EC should not have one penny to spend. If we did that, the various member states could use their own national resources according to their traditions and practices to stop fraud, or could use the money wisely.

We must put an end to the official conspiracy of silence about the appalling position in Europe. The peoples of Europe are being subjected to mass unemployment. Costs are being forced up for everyone. The poor and pensioners are being exploited. Our trade is being distorted and the fraudsters are prospering. The only realistic solution is to cut through the absurdities by depriving the EC of resources.

The second advantage of my amendment and the reason why I hope that the Government will support it is that it would put an end to the tragic unfairness of the contribution system. Hon. Members may have read an article by Sam Brittan, whom some of my hon. Friends think is a very wise man, in the Financial Times entitled "EC—Time for normal budget principles." They may also have read the splendid Library paper on the financing of the EC.

It seems grotesque that, despite the splendid endeavours of the previous Prime Minister to reduce the United Kingdom's contribution to the EC, only four member states—Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands—paid anything into the EC in 1992. The Dutch contribution was minimal. The eight other member states received substantial net payments. As the Financial Times said on 13 February, it is little more than a scandal that the two countries with the highest average incomes should be net beneficiaries of the budget.

It is equally grotesque that Belgium should receive more aid than Portugal. I know that many hon. Members feel that Portugal is a splendid country. It has much poverty and needs a great deal of aid. To tell it that Belgium should get more aid seems to be ridiculous. When this kind of money is shared out there is always grotesque unfairness. People ask what can be done about it. The answer is, nothing. It is going to get worse and more unfair if the EEC gets more money to spend.

It seems wholly wrong that we should allow the "own resources squad" to proceed. Britain will have to pay even more—possibly an extra £500 million, although no doubt the Foreign Office estimates will be smaller. My estimate —and that of others who have studied this matter, including the Library—is that Maastricht will cost us, on top of all the money that we are paying, £2.6 billion net this year. It will probably be more because a lot of the money that is supposed to be coming to us is money that we pay traders for dumping food. But the £2.6 billion that we will pay this year will go up by £500 million.

That splendid chap the Chancellor of the Exchequer said just the other day in the House of Commons, when we asked him about the cost of VAT on gas and electricity —a terrible thing—that it would raise £995 million in the first year. We could scrub that tax and a lot more if we did not have those silly contributions.

The biggest problem of all in our new democratic scene is that opinions about the EEC are being distorted because nations and organisations are so deeply in debt to the EEC for its handouts. The Prime Minister of Spain was received as a national hero upon his return from Edinburgh to his own Parliament and the Irish were assured in their referendum that their money will double because of Maastricht. It seems clear that these nations are not looking at the EEC in an objective way; they are looking on it as an organisation that gives them lots of money. When planning a constitution, or how to run a country or a united Europe, the worst possible thing is that some of the countries, and many of the organisations within those countries, should be dependent upon Euro cash. If that situation exists, those countries will be very positive about Europe. That is why countries like Spain and Greece—not so much Portugal because it has always played fairly in this respect—which receive a lot of money, are saying, "We want more money for Europe and more power for Europe", whether they think that, democratically, it is a good case or not.

Likewise, at home, the depleted finances of many trade organisations, research bodies and voluntary organisations are boosted by EEC funding of alleged research and information projects. The next time that hon. Members get a letter from one of those worthy trade bodies saying something nice about the EEC, I suggest that they write back and ask, "How much money are you getting for these alleged projects?" The money is splashed round and the recipients are delighted.

I do not want to make any specific allegations in this regard about the Confederation of British Industry because I have not seen its detailed accounts. I can only say that I am staggered and alarmed that that rather inadequate organisation, which is obsessively enthusiastic about the EEC, recently made strong statements about the acute worry of its major members that a defeat on Maastricht could lead to a collapse of investment and a departure of cash from the United Kingdom. That was suggested in a parliamentary brief which was sent to every Member of the House of Commons on 2 March.

6.45 pm

I have secured details of the actual responses that firms sent to the CBI and I am astonished by what they actually said. One company, company A, a major automobile manufacturer, stated: Failure to ratify Maastricht or becoming part of a two-speed Europe would affect investment. The other companies all seem to give a wholly different message. I have been through them all; I have seen them all. I shall just read out few of them. Company B said: Investment decisions would not be affected. Company C, a big chemical firm, said: Political considerations are not the main driving forces behind investment. Company D said: Political factors would not have a significant impact on investment decisions. Company E, a major retailer in the United States, said: These factors are not relevant to investment. Company after company said basically that it did not seem to matter at all. But, despite that, the CBI has put out a wholly different message.

I find it difficult to understand why an allegedly reputable organisation should send us a brief when the advice of its members seems to be different. What should concern the CBI is that, while our trade with the EEC before our membership was positive, the deficit since joining is now more than £100,000 million.

It is the future to which I would ask the House to look. I ask every hon. Member—and particularly the Government Whips and Ministers—to consider whether it is possible that, through this amendment, we can make the EEC better and solve many of its problems. It is a fact that Europe's share of world trade is falling year by year; that our industries are becoming less and less competitive in the world; that mass unemployment in Europe is causing sickening hardship and that the poor are being hammered by the high-priced food regime.

What can we do about it? The simple point that I would make, in what I hope is a constructive debate, is that if we simply carry on, under clause 1, which I want to eliminate, giving more power and cash to the EEC, we shall slip into a horrible crisis.

If we destroy democracy in the process, we shall pave the way for people to march instead of using their democratic rights. I think that a new message of hope would be given to the nation and Europe if Britain were to indicate that the best future that we see for Europe is to deprive Brussels of all funds, to close the absurd, costly and bureaucratic institutions which have been created—including the ridiculous European Parliament—and to scrap, root and branch, its absurd and fraudulent policies.

Many hon. Members will say that that is a dramatic thing to do arid will question how the EEC would agree to it, but I believe that if one country says that that is the way it wants to go, perhaps others will follow. To people who say that that is nonsense, I appeal to them to look at the referendum results. People said that the only Euro sceptics were in Britain—because we were an island—and that nobody was bothered about us, but now we find that those feelings are shared across Europe.

Mr. Marlow

I am very much in favour of this amendment and I have been looking at a paper about the cohesion fund, which was issued by the President of the Commission of the European Communities on 1 April 1993—which is significant because it is April fool's day. It says: On Tuesday, the Council adopted the first measures to get the Community's Cohesion Fund up and running. The Fund was able to start operations today (1 April). Some 1,500m ECUs will fund this year's commitments in the four Cohesion Fund countries … Announcing the decision, Budget Commissioner Peter Schmidhuber said that European solidarity, evident in the quick implementation of the Fund, had a vital role to play in solving Europe's dire economic problems. It has happened; the EEC is spending money on the cohesion fund before we have ratified the treaty. For goodness sake, at the very least, I hope that my hon. Friend's amendment when we support it later this evening will stop the boondoggling that is going on at the moment.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Of course it is scandalous; it is shocking, dreadful and contrary to all the principles of democracy. What can my hon. Friend do about it? I would say that all he can do is support my amendment and take away the funds. As a democrat, my hon. Friend is quite rightly agitated about it.

There are other scandals. I received a letter from the Consumers Association this morning. Consumers pay in the shops 64p for 250 g of butter. The proper price throughout the EEC is 29p. I am furious about that; it is shocking and scandalous. My poor constituents pay 68p for a kilo of sugar; they should be paying 33p. Steak mince is £2 per pound when it should be £1.10. Lamb chops, which a lot of people still buy, cost £3.10 per pound instead of £2.70. Casserole steak costs £2.40 instead of £1.50. That makes me angry.

What can we do about it? We are putting up food prices at the present time and not bringing them down because of things like the green pound. Sadly, even super-conscientious Ministers like those we have in the Treasury can do nothing about that. They -must know that the position in Europe is getting worse and worse, and something must happen. My amendment provides the possibility of new hope: It would give a new message of hope to the nation if we could show the way in which we want to go.

If we were to scrap the own resources clause it might be argued by Ministers that other key decisions would remain untouched and nothing much would happen as a result of passing the amendment. But surely if we took that step to give a sign of how we wish to proceed as a nation, we would send a clear and unambiguous message of our determination to save Europe from the EC. I do not want my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General to say that the amendment does not achieve what the hon. Member for Southend, East wants, and that even if we scrap the own resources clause, we will still have to pay some money. We should not take trouble with that nonsense as we want to know whether it would be good or bad for Europe to scrap the own resources provisions.

The saddest part of our debates on Maastricht has been to see how the vast majority of hon. Members simply do not want to listen to the arguments. They know that the Maastricht treaty will entangle us further in the economic shambles of the EC, but, for a variety of reasons, they can see no alternatives. My amendment provides an opportunity for us to take a new path that will destroy not the EC, but the nonsenses of the EC. It will not undermine Brussels, but will destroy the corruption, evil and fraud. We should say that the sort of EC that we want is an EC of co-operation, friendship and understanding, but no cash—that is the way forward.

The mere fact that we are able to discuss the subject before the final curtain falls on British democracy and freedom is, in itself, a bonus. I hope that the Government will think about my proposition and not simply reject it out of hand. I hope that they will not use that silly form of words and say that if they accept the amendment, something else will happen. Should not the House of Commons, which knows that the EC is plunging deeper and deeper into a huge economic mess and democratic disaster, state what this country can do?

The way forward is to have a Europe without resources. I hope that the Government will say that that is what they want, with everyone united. We should do away with the party wrangles and should not have Tory blaming Labour and Labour blaming Tory. We know that there are some hon. Members—Labour, Conservative, and even some Liberal Democrats—who are unhappy about the way in which the EC is going. Let us have a united policy for once, do away with the wrangling and say that the way forward is a united path towards a Europe without resources, fraud and corruption. We should have a Europe of friendship and co-operation and I hope that the Government will give 100 per cent. support to that objective.

Mr. Spearing

The hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) rightly focused on the word "resources". In an intervention, the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Mr. Spicer) made it clear that we were talking about the resources not of the House of Commons, but of the British people and, moreover, resources that we make available through our votes on taxation.

As we all know, money means political power, and the two are closely connected. It is no coincidence that we sit as the Committee of Ways and Means. I understand that it was originally a committee on the ways and means of raising taxes to supply the deficit in the Crown's finances to provide services to the country; hence the word "supply". It was designed to supply the deficit in the Crown's expenditure caused by spending over and above the Crown's revenues. Surprise, surprise—the First Lord of the Treasury obtained a central position. Understandably, the Treasury has always had a sort of primus inter pares in British Government. At least, it played that role until it came up against the Commission and the Council of Ministers.

The function and title of the Paymaster General is fairly ancient, but he is not the master of the payments that he makes to the EC. The House, the Treasury and the First Lord of the Treasury have lost control of the expenditure made available to the EC through own resources. The hon. Member for Southend, East gave many examples.

I challenge the Paymaster General to disagree with the picture that I hope to paint for the Committee and, perhaps, for the nation. The hon. Member for Southend, East is right to say that the resources provided to the EC constitute the windpipe or petrol pipe or gas pipe to its power. The fact that is not fully understood by either hon. Members or the electorate is that that money is not voted year by year on the estimates. It is not voted on in the Budget debate, about which everyone, including the media, goes wild. Under the European Communities Act 1972 that money is paid as a first charge on the resources of the Treasury, whether or not it receives a vote. Under that Act and its financial regulations, which are uprated from time to time, we are obliged to pay that money as a result of decisions taken in the Council of Finance Ministers. The payment of the money is not voted in the House, but was decided at one big vote, which we have to follow, willy nilly.

Mr. Cryer

I am sure that my hon. Friend will refer to the big constitutional issues, but will he also mention the comfort issues? Taxpayers are often pinched as they have to pay taxes and provide the own resources of the Common Market. They would be chagrined to learn that a considerable part of their own resources—many millions of pounds each year—was used to pave the way for fact-finding delegations all over the world from the so-called European Parliament. Those delegations do not involve a couple of Members of the European Parliament, but a committee, translators for seven languages, translation booths to ensure that everyone is comfortable, clerks and advisers. Therefore, we are talking about a tour of perhaps 50 to 100 people. It is outrageous that, when people in our country are pinched and poverty stricken, that money should be scattered to the winds by comfortable Eurocrats and Members of the European Parliament.

Mr. Spearing

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who knows far more about the European Parliament than I do. I do not think that his remarks are at all unjustified. I believe that translators have a useful role to play in translating documents, of which there are many, and meetings, of which there are even more. That is necessary in order to promote international understanding, of which I am in favour. However, I am not in favour of taxpayers' money going to political parties in the European Parliament to fund not just necessary functions in that Parliament—as taxpayers do for our Parliament in a modest way—but other functions that are unacceptable to many of us in the United Kingdom. To use European accounts in that way involves its own dangers.

Mr. Marlow

The hon. Gentleman has set out clearly how the European Community finances to which we are committed have first charge on funds from the United Kingdom. Will the hon. Gentleman, who understands such matters, explain how the European Community is able to spend 1.5 billion ecu on the cohesion fund before the House of Commons has authorised the treaty that authorises the cohesion fund?

Mr. Spearing

I cannot answer that question. I can only suggest that some good citizen of Northampton—or a representative of Northampton—finds ways and means of discovering the answer and takes the matter to the European Court. I understand that the matter may be covered in preparatory legislation, but one danger of the EC is that it involves many preparatory documents which are contingent on votes that have yet to be taken. This happens time and again in Whitehall. I have even seen Bills about which it is stated that they are being introduced because it is expected that the EC intends to do this or that. In any case, if money is transferred, that becomes a matter for the European Court.

7 pm

I do not believe that the House of Commons or the public at large realise the extent to which control over money and resources represents political power—both of the House and of the voters whom we represent. Our power is no more than the money at our disposal with which we provide the Government, who are the successors of the Crown. As the functions of the EC become broader and the money going directly to the EC never passes through the House despite growing in volume, so political power ebbs away with it. The power to control the money disappears.

The hon. Member for Southend, East was right. We have been in this position before. Some people think that history is bunk, but they do not realise that what we have inherited was fought for and won. The procedures and powers that we hold from the voters resulted from the struggle against the Crown. That struggle, which ended in the tragic civil war and the glorious revolution, was essentially an argument about money and about who controlled it: an argument about who should raise taxes and about how they should be spent.

Now we are holding the same argument again. Yonder in Brussels there is a great new imperium, a new crown. Some Members—some Conservative Members—are willingly giving away these powers, just as they are willingly giving away powers of taxation. And the representative of the Crown sitting on the Government Front Bench is wholeheartedly in favour of that. He cannot deny it when he winds up the debate.

Some of this is already determined by the treaty of Rome, of course. Under article 199, revenue and expenditure shown in the EC budget "shall be in balance". As the hon. Member for Southend, East knows, they often have not been. The way to control expenditure is to impose a limit on it. I am sure that all hon. Members remember that there was a time when there was to be a ceiling on own resources, and the then right hon. Member for Finchley was going to do something about them when they reached that ceiling. But the members of the EC came to an intergovernmental agreement to provide money over and above what was already authorised. Some public-spirited persons took the matter to court, challenging whether we could supply the money by means of a simple statutory instrument. In the end we did not; we had to have a Consolidated Fund Bill to provide the extra money. The Government at the time had no alternative.

This is yet another example of how expenditure in the EC has left the control of the Treasury and of the House of Commons. If Maastricht is agreed to, more money will depart in this way. As the hon. Member for Southend, East said, the money going through all sorts of curious Community routes will grow and grow. When Mr. Delors talks about an energy tax, we may be sure that he is more concerned about finance than about the environment.

The hon. Member for Southend, East mentioned fraud. The hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Milligan), no longer here, countered that the Court of Auditors will have more power. Year after year we debate that court's reports, which show massive fraud and mismanagement. Treasury Ministers know that, year after year—this happened again only a few months ago—they and their counterparts in the Council of Finance Ministers sign away or discharge this money. So does the European Parliament. Year after year, mismanagement gets worse.

I remember a relevant example from a previous debate. It concerned the European Year of Tourism. I do not think that tourism in the EC needed encouragement from official funds. A great deal of tourism goes on in the EC and in Britain anyway, but 5 million ecu—or it may have been pounds—was given away by the EC for this rather nebulous programme, which was the subject of terrible mismanagement.

For our own expenditure, the estimates have to be passed by means of an appropriation Act—we have to appropriate money for the appropriate purpose. Our Public Accounts Committee then examines what has been spent. I know from experience of the Select Committee on European Legislation, however, that this common-sense procedure can be bypassed in EC matters in a curious way. We hear about the Victorian values of the Conservative party, but when it comes to European accounting Conservative Members seem to have thrown away those values. The Gladstonian principles of public Finance appear to have been chucked in the channel.

When regulations or draft regulations come before the Select Committee, we often ask where the money is to come from. Sometimes no money is involved—we are just debating a report of certain proposals. On other occasions, when we ask our advisers where the money is coming from, they say that it is included in a line of the budget. That budget is not even a budget in our sense of the word; it is an estimate of money and of own resources expenditure. But somewhere, tucked in its hundreds of pages, there will be a line about some proposal for some programme or form of assistance or handout or lubrication. So, even though the budget is only observed by the House of Commons, a line in it is sufficient authority for expenditure.

This deserves a great deal of investigation, because all the money comes from own resources. Ours is probably the only Parliament to examine such matters, and even we observe them for only three or four hours a year. Nevertheless, hundreds of millions of pounds flow out in this way; sums of money are shifted around at the end of the year from surpluses to deficits. European financial procedures are nothing like those in this country, and even ours are sometimes not as good as they should be.

As I have said, Parliament had power over the Crown to raise revenue and to spend it, and the two had to be balanced. A further power which the Crown used to hold we did not acquire until some time later—the power to borrow money. According to article 199, the EC must work in financial balance, but it includes a number of institutions that guarantee and lend money. Earlier the Paymaster General and the hon. Member for Southend, East had an exchange about the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The scandal surrounding that bank has been well ventilated in the media. The Minister jumped up to say, rightly, that the bank has nothing to do with the EC—but he did not add that it is an intergovernmental institution. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of its governors. On certain other matters the Foreign Secretary has been saying, month after month, that we should not worry because they will not be dealt with by EC institutions; they will be dealt with intergovernmentally, as though that meant that the Government had a complete grip on them. But if the intergovernmental institution of the EBRD is any guide to the other intergovernmental parts of the treaty, heaven help us. And all this was going on in London less than a mile from the Treasury—yet Treasury Ministers could not stop it.

The European Investment Bank, however, is an institution of the EC provided by the treaty of Rome. Its protocol tells us that Ministers from our Government will be nominated—or at least one of them will be—to serve on the board of governors. For all I know, the Paymaster General may be nominated, but it may be the Economic Secretary or the Financial Secretary. Perhaps the Paymaster General will tell us.

The European Investment Bank lends money for all sorts of enterprises. Its directors, who are bankers—I hope that they are better than some bankers that we have recently heard about—can grant those loans. Article 6 of the protocol setting up the EIB states: The Board of Governors may, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Board of Directors, decide that Member States shall grant the Bank special interest-bearing loans if and to the extent that the Bank requires such loans to finance specific projects and the Board of Directors shows that the Bank is unable to obtain the necessary funds on the capital market on terms appropriate to the nature and purpose of the projects to be financed. That is a wonderful banker's dream. If money cannot be obtained on the free market, it will be taken by raising a loan, presumably by running around the Governments of member states. I understand that that is what the EIB is about. It does not only raise money and appropriate finance for grants and funds but has a mechanism for raising loans.

I understand that the EIB recently opened a new fund of about £60 billion of credit. The Paymaster General, whose name I hope is associated with permission for that, may be able to tell us about it. Unfortunately, for reasons that I deplore, I do not think that the proposal will be debated by Parliament. The bank has recently expanded its activity and the Government will oversee that if they can —but the precedents are not too good.

Sir Teddy Taylor

The Government are against any kind of state funding, so I am sure that they will be interested in the EIB's provision of £1.6 billion, a huge amount, for that ridiculous white elephant, the channel tunnel. Has the hon. Gentleman read about the horrible economic mess that the tunnel is in, and does that loan not seem ridiculous in view of our law which says that no public money will be provided for the channel tunnel no matter what kind of mess it gets into? However, this silly El B has provided £1,600 million. That is a heck of a lot of money that could have been used for more sensible purposes.

Mr. Spearing

Own resources can be used by the EC's central institutions in all sorts of ways almost at the drop of a hat at some vague meeting whose participants decide to spend our money. I do not think that it is within the remit of the Public Accounts Committee to look at how all that money is spent. That is political power for Europe. It is unaccountable and in a sense it is fleecing our taxpayers.

Alas, Parliament has voted away its powers to oversee that, and a majority of Conservative Members are advocating that we do the same again. How they can claim to be democrats I do not know. Do not they understand the basis of political power in the modern world? Much of it is money and permission to spend it is being given away, and by the Treasury, of all corporate organisations, which is chasing local authorities and old people and cutting everywhere. The mailbags of Conservative Members must be full of letters about that, but they do not seem to worry about the EC. They throw away power and suggest that we throw away more through this treaty. I do not know how they can face their electorates and claim to be democrats.

Power is money and it is raised by taxing the people. If that is not done by Parliament a supra-national authority will take power. People will receive money illegally by getting grants for this or that. More and more funds will be acquired over there if the treaty is passed. That is why the Committee must accept the amendment.

Mr. Michael Spicer

My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) has done the Committee and the country an enormous service by raising the whole question of the budgetary implications of the way that EC policy is developing. He focused, understandably and rightly, on the issue of fraud; I suspect that the Government will reply by saying that fraud is all sorted out because the Maastricht treaty gives the courts power to impose all sorts of penalties. I shall anticipate what they will say.

I agree with the hon. Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Cryer) that all the signs are that the governing EC institutions—the Commission, the law courts and, if Maastricht is passed, the central bankers—are singularly inappropriate and certainly ineffective in keeping track of all this money. That is evident from history. Even leaving that aside, it is a questionable matter of principle whether this Parliament and country should hand over accountability and the power to check and impose penalties for fraud to non-accountable institutions in Europe. That is one of the fundamental problems.

7.15 pm

As I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East in an intervention in his admirable speech, we are debating Britain's resources. As several hon. Members have said, over the past 10 years Britain and Germany have essentially been the paymasters for this whole business. France occasionally goes into the black, if I may put it that way, but, typically, over the years France has taken money out. Therefore, the term "own resources" is singularly inappropriate. To a Greek, an Irishman, a Portuguese, a Belgian, a Dane or a Dutchman, they are other people's resources. The budget should be called other people's resources, or, better still, British and German resources.

Mr. Sweeney

I am sure that my hon. Friend is aware of the commonly-held belief that he who pays the piper calls the tune. This is an exception to that estimable rule because, although, as my hon. Friend says, Germany and Britain are clearly the leading paymasters in the European Community, they do not call the tune. The people of this country are being denied the responsibility and freedom of choice that usually goes with being the paymaster. The Government are agreeing to a process that is increasingly going beyond our control.

Mr. Spicer

I agree with my hon. Friend to the extent that it is certainly not Britain that is calling the tune. Perhaps it is a matter for future debate whether Germany is calling the tune in the Community. The money that is being handed over, by Act of Parliament, as the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) reminded us, is inexorably increasing. Fraud is certainly one aspect of the matter and the Government will reply to that. The answer to them when they do is that the whole process of accountability for British money is inadequate in the way that the matter is currently presented.

Mr. Ron Leighton (Newham, North-East)

Why do the majority of EC countries contribute nothing in net terms while we subsidise countries richer than ours by an amount which is greater than our aid programmes to the entire third world? Does the hon. Gentleman agree that that is because of the taxes by which own resources are financed? There are taxes on food imports, and we will always import more food than the other member states. There is a levy on industrial imports and we carry on more trade outside the Community than the other member states. With taxes like that, we shall always pay in more than we get out.

Mr. Spicer

Indeed, that is the mechanism involved in the process that I have described. We are not talking about mean figures; as my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East pointed out, we are talking about more than £2 billion a year—the equivalent of 100 national health service hospitals.

My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East and others have already analysed the question of fraud very well. What worries me is the inexorable growth in spending that the ratification of the Maastricht treaty will make inevitable. The £2 billion figure involved in what are described as "own resources" is bad enough, but we should remember that, since we first joined the Community, its budget has risen from about £2,000 million to about £50,000 million. Already we are seeing a dynamic growth and, given what is envisaged in the treaty, we are heading towards a worrying position: our resources will be depleted, and not much accountability will be attached to their expenditure.

My hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) pointed out that we seem to have slipped from the idea of own resources into that cohesion funding without even ratifying the treaty of Maastricht. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General will deal with that disturbing point. The core of the treaty, however, is the issue of the single currency, which I consider crucial to the question of the resources that will be applied.

In effect, a single currency means a single pricing system throughout the Community; but I do not think anyone has suggested that a single wage system will accompany that single pricing system. No one has suggested that, after the ratification of the treaty, wages in Greece will be the same as those in Germany. Surely, given that people in Greece will soon find themselves paying broadly the same prices as those in Germany while earning perhaps half the wages paid to German workers, there will be great unhappiness in Greece. The same applies to Ireland and Portugal. People simply will not be able to cope. The demand for compensation will inevitably follow.

A single currency means not only the handing over of all control of the banking system and all that it implies to a non-elected central bank, but, inevitably, the handing over of a large measure of budget control. In the past, vastly increasing resources have gone into the Community; moreover, Maastricht and the single currency make a single budget inevitable. That is the truth that my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East has exposed.

What is the pay-off? There are two parts of the equation. On the one hand, Britain and Germany are to be the only paymasters; on the other, Maastricht presents the prospect of a massive increase in budgets and in the resources required—in essence, from Britain and Germany, but possibly from the northern European countries. What will be the advantage for this country? Ultimately, hon. Members still represent constituents here. I feel accountable to my own constituents, and I hope that the Italian politicians will soon feel the same. Surely it is fair for me to ask what benefits my constituents and my country will gain from the enormous step that we are taking—the transfer of resources into other countries' budgets.

Mr. Bill Walker

For nearly 300 years, the United Kingdom has operated a single currency, a single bank and a single economy. Anyone who wishes to see how that operates in practice need only examine the mass migration of people from the less well-off areas to the wealthy areas, and the large transfer of public funds in United Kingdom own resources from the wealthy to the poor areas.

Mr. Spicer

That is a good point. One of the ways in which Governments have tried to compensate is by robbing the successful areas in an attempt to pay for the unsuccessful ones. For instance, great benefits have been stripped from the midlands—where my constituency lies —and I am not sure who has gained any advantage from that.

Mr. Sweeney

Does my hon. Friend agree that it is one thing to strip successful areas to help the unsuccessful, and another to strip areas that are only moderately successful to help, in some cases, the successful rather than the unsuccessful?

Mr. Spicer

That, too, is a good point. As was pointed out earlier, it must be asked whether Britain and Germany —which will be the paymasters of the enormously expanding Maastricht budget—are the countries that should be paying all that money.

Sadly, Britain's income per head is rather low in terms of the European Community countries. Even if I represented a German constituency, I would at least ask whether Germany would be able to afford such amounts in a few years, given its current recession and all the other problems that are hitting it—for instance, social welfare programmes that it cannot really pay for. However, that is not my problem; my problem is in Britain.

Mr. Denzil Davies (Llanelli)

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is aware that even Germany has not done too badly out of Maastricht and the Edinburgh declaration. I understand that the whole of Germany is now to be an objective 1 area, whereas not one part of Britain is to be such an area. Although Germany makes the largest contribution, at least it will be given back a huge chunk. We shall not even receive money under the objective 1 criteria.

Mr. Spicer

Indeed, as a result of all the mechanical problems and the Edinburgh agreement that the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned, it is possible that Britain—which has been the number two paymaster for the past 10 years—will end up being the number one paymaster in relation to a vastly increasing budget.

What, then, are the benefits for Britain? The Common Market was founded on the concept of trade, and I certainly support the continuation of close European trade links. Britain pays £2 billion a year into the budget; moreover, the year before last she bought £10 billion more than she sold, and will probably do so next year. Even in the matter of trade, on which most of us agree, there is a questionable return on all the money that we spend on a vastly increasing budget that will explode following the Maastricht treaty.

Will we gain anything from the single currency, if we decide at some point to opt into it?

Sir Teddy Taylor

It will make things worse.

Mr. Spicer

It may do so, for a very good reason. We saw the effect of fixed and managed exchange rates under the exchange rate mechanism. Some people say that the fact that we were right about the ERM does not necessarily mean that we are right about the Maastricht treaty; I have had that thrown at me at certain meetings, and perhaps my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East has had the same experience. The obvious answer is that the issue is the same one. The single currency is the ERM perpetuated. If it was wrong to link our economy to the economies of others in the short term, as it was wrong under the gold standard to link our economy with that of the Americans in the 1920s and 1930s, on the basis of costs and benefits it must be wrong to link ourselves in perpetuity with the economies of others.

7.30 pm

What will happen to our democratic constitution? Will there be some great pay-off? I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General will take up the fraud argument when he responds. He will say that there will be a new pay-off in terms of accountability and the institutions that will be created as a result of the treaty of Maastricht to deal with fraud. I see, Mr. Lofthouse, that you are becoming somewhat restless. I assure you that there is a direct relationship between fraud and money. This is one of the few debates that have allowed us to focus on costs, and it would seem reasonable to focus on costs and benefits. After all, the costs may be beneficial; there may be good reasons for spending so much money. I am trying to ascertain whether there are good reasons for doing so.

The Government say that one of the benefits is a new approach to the institutions of Europe along with a new approach to the accountability and auditing procedures when adjudicating whether moneys have been spent correctly or incorrectly. I merely question that. I cannot conceive how an unelected, secret sitting, central bank, along with an unelected law court and an unelected Commission, can in combination, using an alien system of law to that of the United Kingdom, improve upon the way in which moneys are dispensed. Such an approach will not enable me as a Member to feel that I can tell my constituents that moneys are being properly controlled and that there is proper accountability.

Mr. Iain Duncan-Smith (Chingford)

Does my hon. Friend agree that the reports about the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development that have broken so opportunely recently—they focus on the money that the bank has been spending and the sizeable balance between the amount spent on the marble in its halls and on its offices, structures, jets, flights and visits as opposed to the moneys that it was meant to be lending to the eastern bloc —provide a good example of what happens and of what is endemic within the thinking of administrators within the EEC? It would seem that they take the view that it is not their money that is being spent and they do not care where it goes. The reports provide a good example of an endemic carelessness.

Mr. Spicer

When an institution, whether it is the Italian Government, the Commission, the European Court or the central bank, is not directly accountable to the public, who can throw it out of office, corruption in various forms almost automatically follows. That is not surprising. Indeed, in my view, it is inevitable. The British form of democracy, which we are in danger of dismantling under the treaty of Maastricht, has much going for it. At the very least, it provides a process by which Governments can be held accountable. If the process is taken to the ultimate, they can be thrown out of office if the people do not like the way that they perform. Governments realise that, as do the officials who work for them. Therefore, the system is open. It is one in which change can take place. If there is a change of Government, the newly elected administration can examine the books. That can happen only if there is genuine democracy, which we cannot see even emerging within the institutions of Europe.

The issue is central and crucial to the arguments that reflect the worry about the proposed development within the context of the treaty of Maastricht. Some say that everything is in place already under previous legislation, including the treaty of Rome. They say that we are talking only about continuation. In fact, the treaty of Maastricht amounts to a fundamental break. It pushes everything into an entirely different orbit because of the single currency and what will flow from it in terms of the resources that will be required to manage the consequences.

There can be only one possible justification for the enormous commitment that Britain will undoubtedly make—British taxpayers—in handing over possibly the majority of our money to, possibly, a single taxing authority, a central economic authority, within the EEC. That justification can be found only if we believe in a federal state of Europe. If we believe in a nation of Europe, everything fits into place. If we do not, we should not vote for the treaty of Maastricht.

Earlier there was some banter on the Front Bench about Euro fanatics. My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East came to the rescue when he said that they were not fanatics because they did not really believe in what is proposed. He may have something in that. Indeed, we are presented with the treaty on the basis that, to some extent, we have opted out of it. No one produces firm reasons why we should have the treaty. Instead, we are told that we have opted out of certain parts of it and that the Government have done their best to ensure that we do not experience the worst effects.

I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East that the majority of those within the Conservative party and in our constituencies—this is certainly the position in the country generally—do not like the treaty. Some think that it is the best that can be done or the best that we can get. No one, with the exception of one or two of my hon. Friends, says that we want a federal state or a united states of Europe. At the same time, no one who argues against our case is able to show us how a single currency, with the legal system that will pile in behind it along with the money that is pouring in as a result of what has been shown to be an inexorable budgetary process, will not lead to a federal state of Europe. It is clear that there is schizophrenia.

My right hon. and hon. Friends who have been voting through all this stuff will not be able to say in future, "We did not understand what was going on." It was reported in The Times yesterday that some had stated that they realised with hindsight that they had got it wrong. The logic has been spelt out during the many days that we have considered the Bill in Committee. It has been presented to the Committee day after day and night after night. No one can misunderstand now the meaning of the treaty. My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East has done the Committee a great service in showing logically just how inexorable the process of—

Sir Teddy Taylor

Will my hon. Friend say to the Minister and to all those in the Treasury that if there is any doubt about the activities of that terrible bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, they should turn to page 91 of the treaty to read about the new banks that will be set up under the Maastricht treaty, which will cost more in own resources? If my right hon. Friend the Minister reads article 7, he will find that he will not be allowed to write them a letter or to phone them if he is worried about their expenditure. If he is worried about the spending of money, perhaps my hon. Friend will tell him to turn to page 91 and to ask himself what he could do when faced with the scandals over spending that will come inevitably with the new European banks, which are part of the EEC.

Mr. Spicer

I thank my hon. Friend for that information and for having generally raised the issue earlier. I hope that we shall receive some good answers from our admirable and competent right hon. Friend the Paymaster General.

Sir John Cope

It might be helpful to the Committee if I begin by describing—it has not emerged so far—what article 201 does and the effect of the Maastricht treaty in replacing old article 201 with new article 201. The article relates to the system of setting the ceiling for the European Community's expenditure. It is in part a tidying-up change, and desirable as such. The Community should recognise how events have moved on since the previous treaties were agreed. It removes some out-of-date references to the old system of financing the Community by levies on member states.

Most important, it embeds in the treaty the basis of the hard-won 1985 agreement, that the Community should be financed solely by the so-called own resources. I accept the criticism of the phrase, but it has occurred in treaties for a very long time. In so doing, the new article 201 reinforces the 1985 agreement and the decisions that have been made under it, but it also repeats that the system of own resources and the ceiling to be applied shall be recommended first by the Commission and then by the Council of Ministers—the representatives of the member states—by unanimity, through the European Parliament to the member states themselves for their own constitutional processes. In our case, that means an Act of Parliament.

Any proposal to increase the ceiling on own resources requires an Act of Parliament. The Bill is not such a proposal. It does not arise from Maastricht, but the House in general will be aware that, since the treaty was agreed, there has been a meeting at Edinburgh at which it was agreed to propose increases in the future in the own resources ceiling. Such a proposal will need to come before the House as a Bill, and it will do so in due course, but it is not part of this Bill or the article or anything to do with the treaty.

I believe that such a method of controlling the ceiling of Community finances is the correct one. It was obtained by Baroness Thatcher in the negotiations that led to the 1985 decision. It was built on by her in 1988, and is now built in to the treaty by the clause. My hon. Friends who are critical of spending should at least recognise that that is in itself desirable. given the parameters within which we have to live. It is the right method to ensure accountability.

The system for setting the ceiling on European Community expenditure should be as it is: it should be a decision for member states in their own national Parliaments or through whatever constitutional process they have. In our case, it involves a Bill coming before the House. When such a Bill comes before the House is the time to decide whether there should be a new ceiling on own resources.

The article strengthens the financial discipline and control over the Community's financing. Those who want budgetary discipline should therefore support the article and the changes it makes to article 201. I do not pretend that it is doing anything other than reinforcing the controls that exist, but it makes them stronger, because they are now to be embedded in the treaty.

Hon. Members who have participated in the debate have not dealt with the effect of the article, but have made more general remarks about own resources and the financing of the Community. Of course, all expenditure must be treaty-based but, in addition, it must come through the European Community budget. The amendment deals with the raising of money. When we have discussed the spending of money, we have discussed the system for the budget, and do so frequently when changes to the Community's budget are proposed. The system is elaborate. It involves the House but is primarily a European set of procedures involving some of the institutions about which we have heard such as the budgetary control council, which a former member mentioned in an intervention. It is an important committee, roughly equivalent to the Public Accounts Committee.

The third control element is the own resources, the 1.2 per cent., about which I have already spoken and which is a key to the overall control of Community spending.

7.45 pm
Mr. Spearing

Will the Paymaster General confirm the thesis that I suggested in my contribution, and which I shall spell out again? The EC budget is not to be compared with our Budget, which covers the raising of revenue but raised by agreements usually running for five years. In addition, they have estimates for spending. Is not the EC budget therefore the equivalent of our estimates and the Appropriation Act put together, and do they not do a different job? Does he agree that whoever authorises the budget automatically authorises the expenditure?

Sir John Cope

I can accept in general terms the hon. Gentleman's description. In a European Community context, the word "budget" is used primarily for expenditure. We use the word primarily to refer to the Chancellor's Budget statement, which is mainly about taxation and the raising of money. We are in the process of altering that. We shall have a unified budget in the next financial cycle and shall, in a sense, be putting the two halves together, which is the right thing to do. However, that is not directly related to the debate. In the European Community, the word "budget" is primarily about expenditure. That is the way it is usually used.

Mrs. Dunwoody

Is it not also true that a budget appropriation in no way inhibits the Community's introduction of supplementary budgets, which can wholly change the original examination of figures and which, except in retrospect, do not require a close examination even by the European Parliament?

Sir John Cope

Oh yes, they of course require examination. Supplementary budgets can be introduced, but, as hon. Members will be aware, so can supplementary appropriations. In any spending or budgetary system, one needs a method by which one can adjust expenditure in the course of a year if circumstances change.

Many references have been made to fraud. They began with my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor), who moved the amendment. In this debate, as in others, my hon. Friend's attitude has been that nothing can be done and that the apparatus and methods to control money and spending in the European Community cannot be improved; the only thing we can do is to spend nothing through the European Community. If my hon. Friend will forgive the phrase, I call that the view of a fanatic of the way to control the EC budget: if it has no budget, there is no problem, and we do not need to control it.

It is a defeatist view. We should not give up the attempt to improve controls on the Community budget. I do not believe that they are as bad as they are sometimes painted, but improvements are desirable and necessary. A considerable amount has been done this year, and, over the past 12 months in which I have had responsibility for that aspect, I have obviously paid close attention to the matter, and am glad to report some improvements to the system.

Sir Roger Moate (Faversham)

My right hon. Friend used the words "fanatic" and "defeatist". I suggest that, on the contrary, my hon. Friend's amendment is essentially constructive, as was the manner in which he moved it. In future, the Community must look to a new way of financing its activities, particularly as it faces spectacular enlargement in the years ahead. Can my right hon. Friend name any other world institution that has own resources, yet somehow does not survive because it lacks own resources? Far from being destructive, my hon. Friend is simply suggesting a different way whereby the Community can be funded, directly by this Parliament, rather than have resources of its own.

That arrangement would provide the Treasury and the House with a real means of controlling Community expenditure, where we deem that appropriate, and of preventing fraud. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General will, on reflection, withdraw the rather extreme adjectives that he used and will understand that behind my hon. Friend's amendment is a constructive and sensible approach to the Community's future financing.

Sir John Cope

I used an adjective that my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East applied to me and to others who support the Maastricht treaty.

Sir Roger Moate

Quite right.

Sir John Cope

Every right hon. and hon. Member must decide that for himself—that is not for me to say. My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East made kind references to me also, and was flattering, but he said that those who support the Maastricht treaty are taking a fanatical view and are fanatics—and they include me, because I support the treaty, with particular regard to its effect on Community finances.

From the intervention of my hon. Friend the Member for Faversham (Sir R. Moate), I may have misunderstood my hon. Friend's proposals for the Community budget. I understood that he wanted to take from the Community all own resources, and he suggested no other method by which it should be financed. I am not sure whether my hon. Friend had in mind—as I took it to be—that there should be no other method of financing the Community. That is why I assume that he wanted to take all resources from the Community, as a means of cutting back its activities severely.

I do not believe that it is necessary to take away all the Community's resources to control them properly. On the contrary, we have taken some important steps forward, including those in the treaty that make member states pursue fraud against the Community's budget with the same vigour as fraud against national budgets.

The treaty also improves consideration of the Commission's annual report on fraud. It makes the Court of Auditors a Community institution and gives it the right to pursue its views, which have been insufficiently pursued in the past, in the courts.

Mr. Gill

What my right hon. Friend has just said is absolute nonsense. There is no evidence that the Court of Auditors report has brought any improvement. Ministers come to the Dispatch Box each year and say, "We will do this, that, and the next thing," but nothing happens.

I am sorry to take my right hon. Friend into the realm of practicalities, but for years Ministers have been telling us that beef intervention will be brought under control. We have 10 times more beef in intervention stores than we had four years ago, despite the fact that cattle prices in livestock markets are higher than ever before. One would have thought that would trigger the emptying of the stores, to present the public with a commodity at a keener price. It is nonsense for my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General to expect the Committee to believe this rubbish.

Sir John Cope

I was explaining that the Maastricht treaty increases the power of the Court of Auditors to follow up exactly the kind of issues that my hon. Friend cited and that the Court of Auditors mentioned in its reports of previous years. I support the argument that the Court of Auditors should be strengthened in that regard, and I strongly support the treaty because it will do that.

Mr. Cash

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, when Mr. George Carey, who was for a long time the chairman of the Court of Auditors, resigned, he wrote a letter which some of us have seen, and which I dare say my right hon. Friend the Minister has seen too. It is strongly at variance with my right hon. Friend's assessment of the value of the treaty's minimal provisions relating to control over expenditure and fraud. If Mr. Carey expresses such views, it is immensely difficult to understand why my right hon. Friend—who I believe is an accountant of some standing—could possibly reach a different conclusion from Mr. Carey.

Sir John Cope

He was not the chairman, but a member of the Court of Auditors. From my hon. Friend's description, I believe that he must have seen a different letter from that which I saw. Nevertheless, I recall certain comments made by Mr. Carey at the time of his resignation, and have discussed them. My hon. Friend's description of the reasons for Mr. Carey's resignation does not conform with my recollection of his remarks. The Court of Auditors will be strengthened by the treaty, which will strengthen the fight against Community fraud.

My hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East referred to recent newspaper articles about carbon/energy tax and suggested that Community proposals might have something to do with a further resource for the Community. That is not so. It is not proposed to introduce any new own resources as a result of either the Maastricht treaty or Edinburgh agreements. In any case, the funding arrangements could be changed only by the Council acting or making recommendations by unanimity. Any such arrangements would need to be approved by the House.

Discussions are under way on a carbon/energy tax, but it is not suggested that that should be part of the Community's own resources, as those who have read the explanatory memorandum on that aspect will know.

Mr. Leighton

How does the Paymaster General justify the bizarre set of taxes that finance the own resources, wherby we pay literally billions and richer countries pay nothing at all?

Sir John Cope

I will return to that point later.

I was explaining that the carbon/energy tax proposals have been described in an explanatory memorandum, and I do not want to add much to that.

Sir Teddy Taylor

Is it not true that the Edinburgh Council asked the Commission to produce a report for member states on a new fifth resource? I am astonished at the way that the Minister has replied to the debate. I have always had the highest regard for his objectivity. Surely the Edinburgh Council asked the Commission to do this job for it.

Sir John Cope

Yes, but that is not connected with the carbon/energy tax proposals that are flying about and being discussed. They have nothing to do with the own resources of the Community. The preliminary draft for a carbon/energy tax is being discussed by the Community, but those proposals will not affect the own resources of the Community, which is what article 201 and the amendment deal with.

8 pm

My hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Mr. Spicer) described Germany and the United Kingdom as the only net contributors. If he looks at the last Court of Auditors' report, he will see that there were five net contributors to the European Community in the last full year upon which the Court of Auditors reported, 1991. They included not only Germany and the United Kingdom but France, Italy and the Netherlands.

Belgium and Luxembourg were also referred to in the debate—certainly Belgium was mentioned. Belgium benefits considerably from administrative expenditure, which affects its net balance with the Community.

Mr. Michael Spicer

Does my right hon. Friend accept that, over the past 10 years, Britain and Germany have been the only large contributors to this fund?

Sir John Cope

Yes, I certainly accept that, although Germany's contribution is much larger than ours. Nevertheless, I draw the Committee's attention to the very important fact that other countries have recently become net contributors to the Community. We shall discuss later the changes in own resources that were proposed at Edinburgh, but they form no part of this Bill. They will be a matter for future legislation. The change in the balance, in particular the change in the number of net contributors within the Community, will make a considerable difference over the years and will have a dynamic effect, to borrow a phrase from my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South, on the financing of the Community.

Mr. Richard Shepherd

Has my right hon. Friend had the opportunity to read Sir Michael Franklin's report for the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in which he looks at distributive flows and redistributive elements? When they are broken down to show what each citizen of the new union will receive through his or her national identity, one sees that it amounts to 1,987 ecu per head for those in Luxembourg, whereas Germany contributes, per head of the population, 140 ecu. In 1992, we were, on a per capita basis, the second largest contributor. It is extraordinary that, on that basis, Italy is still the recipient of 10 ecu per head, and Spain 73 ecu, Denmark 97 ecu, Portugal 104 ecu, Belgium 165 ecu, Greece 375 ecu and Ireland 678 ecu per head. That is an insane way of financing or redistributing the wealth of the Community, because it bears no relationship to gross domestic product per head.

Sir John Cope

I have not had the opportunity to look at the report to which my hon. Friend refers, but I shall do so. I cannot comment on the figures, but the general points that I made about net contributions are, I believe, correct and important ones for the future financing of the Community.

Mr. Leighton

The right hon. Gentleman says that there are five net contributors to the Community. There is therefore a minority of contributors, and the majority of states pay absolutely nothing at all. That is grotesque. How does the Paymaster General justify that? It is not fair, is it? Ought not contributions to be on the basis of ability to pay, instead of this mad system that we have at the moment?

Sir John Cope

It is not a question of not paying anything at all. It is a question of how the contributions to the Community and the receipts from the Community net out. All the member states contribute to the Community according to the formulae. All the member states, including ourselves, benefit. Member states receive money from the Community. Furthermore, individuals, and individual companies within the member states, receive money from the Community. The question is, what is the net effect of these two processes—the raising and the paying out of money? It is the net effect to which I refer. The net public sector flows amount to about £2 billion a year, although the amount varies from year to year.

Mr. Michael Spicer

How can my right hon. Friend use the word "benefit"? If we get back only a bit of what we give, that is not a benefit; it is a disbenefit. We have given away money in the process. It is the net figure, surely, that really matters.

Sir John Cope

It is the net effect that matters, and that is exactly what I have been emphasising. The net effect is caused by both negative and positive flows.

Some of my hon. Friends and other hon. Members are concerned about the cohesion fund, and about whether the Community is somehow jumping the gun, in legal terms. I hope that I can reassure them, primarily by referring them to the detailed explanatory memorandum that was submitted to the House of Commons by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Industry on 5 March regarding proposals for the Council regulation. There is no legal jumping of the gun regarding the cohesion fund.

Several hon. Members have referred during the debate to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and to the recent criticism levelled at it in the newspapers. Both I and others have pointed out during the debate on the issue that the EBRD is not a European Community institution. It is an institution to which 57 countries belong. That includes the Community countries, but many other non-Community countries are represented on the board of management, are shareholders and are part of it.

There are no accountability lessons to be learnt from the EBRD that are directly relevant to the Community, which has much more elaborate institutions for controlling its finances than the EBRD does. Incidentally, the EBRD's accountability is similar to that for other institutional organisations, such as the World bank. It is that machinery which will no doubt inquire into recent press reports. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and departmental officials are playing a part in the investigation. That matter is not, however, germane to this debate.

Mr. Robert B. Jones (Hertfordshire, West)

It is relevant, is it not, that the Court of Auditors has produced loads of reports on the misuse of European Community funds? Our Chancellor of the Exchequer has endeavoured to get these reports debated properly and action taken, whereas other European Community countries have been singularly unhelpful in trying to get any action whatsoever taken. If my right hon. Friend is in favour of additional resources for the European Community, he must surely accept that its present resources need to be spent properly first.

Sir John Cope

I have talked about the Court of Auditors, and I do not propose to add to what I have said. We were talking about the EBRD, which is a wholly different institution with 57 member countries. It is a different scale of institution.

Sir Roger Moate

We fully understand that the EBRD is not a Community institution. However, it is comparable to a range of other EC institutions. Can my right hon. Friend explain to me and to the British public why Community officials and EBRD officials pay no income tax? Will he explain again for my benefit why they should be accorded that extraordinary privilege? If there is any argument for it, could it not be re-examined, because it is rather scandalous?

Sir John Cope

My hon. Friend must take up that matter on another occasion, because it does not arise out of this debate. The EBRD is comparable to the World bank and to other such organisations, and the matter also relates to other diplomatic privileges.

Mrs. Teresa Gorman (Billericay)

I do not know whether my right hon. Friend intends to go back to the subject of the cohesion fund. He talked about not jumping the gun. He must be aware that, at the Edinburgh summit, for example, the European Community promised Mr. Gonzalez, the Prime Minister of Spain, £7 billion out of the proposed cohesion fund towards a hydrolytic scheme. He was guaranteed the money, out of the £17 billion which he hopes to garner eventually from the European fund, to flood the other half of Spain so that the people can grow even more olives and useless things, which we shall no doubt put into storage. That commitment was given to him in exchange for his co-operation over the issue of the Danish opt-out. Will my right hon. Friend explain whether that is a commitment, whether it jumps the gun or not?

Sir John Cope

My hon. Friend has confused a number of different strands. I referred her and other of my hon. Friends to the explanatory memorandum which was issued on 5 March. It explains in some detail what is going on in terms of the cohesion fund. That point is not relevant to the amendment or to the treaty. What is relevant is article 201, which strengthens the disciplines of the Community by restating and improving the controls, especially over the ceiling of own resources. The total of own resources is a matter to which we shall have to return on another occasion when debating different legislation. I believe, therefore, that we should not agree to the amendment.

Mr. Andrew Smith (Oxford, East)

The Paymaster General was a little unkind and ungenerous to his hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor), whom he accused of being a fanatic. The hon. Member for Southend, East may choose to take that as a compliment. He has been generous in this Committee in praising the sincerity of others. A fairer description would be to say that he was very, very sincere in what he was saying about the shortcomings of article 201 and about the system of own resources.

Sir John Cope

I was trying to say that the attitude of my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East in this matter, as I understood it, was extreme. He used the word "fanatic" about some who, like myself, support the Maastricht treaty. That is a matter for him to describe. I entirely accept his sincerity, which is unquestioned. I also pay tribute to his assiduity not only during our debates on this treaty, but over many years, in pursuing his particular point of view on the European Community.

8.15 pm
Mr. Smith

The Paymaster General's search for acceptable, euphemistic synonyms for fanaticism is intriguing. I think that he is just digging the hole a bit deeper. The hon. Member for Southend, East did well considering that he had such a bad cold. I merely shudder to think how much longer he would have spoken if he had not had that cold. However, I wish him a speedy recovery.

The hon. Gentleman argued that supporting the amendment could bring together various groups in the Committee. I am aware of his sincerity, which we have all just praised. However, I must say that a greater triumph of hope over experience would be difficult to imagine. He was on stronger ground when he appeared to suggest that we might cut cash out of the European Community debate. Even that argument collapsed when people realised that he was talking not about his hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash), but merely about money.

In all seriousness, the hon. Member for Southend, East has overestimated the effect of the amendment. I understood him to claim that it would remove every word of the treaty relating to EC finance. He is clearly overlooking articles 199 and 201a, as well as many other articles in the treaty. The amendment would not have that effect. Many of the points that the hon. Gentleman made —this was also true of the points made by the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Mr. Spicer)—were really a repetition of a number of points made at length in our previous debates, especially those on the Court of Auditors.

Nobody has more strongly condemned irregularities, fraud and corruption in the EC than the Labour party has or than I have at the Dispatch Box. However, the question that we must ask is whether the provisions in relation to the Court of Auditors and the control of expenditure make matters better or worse. There are a number of respects in which the Maastricht treaty makes the situation better; they are set out in articles 206, 290 and 290a, which give stronger powers to the Court of Auditors. At least now the accounts will have to be fully certified by the Court of Auditors which was not the case before. There are extra powers for the European Parliament to require the Commission to act on the reports and recommendations from the Court of Auditors. There is also the new legal duty, to which the Paymaster General referred, obliging member states to pursue fraud in relation to EC funds with the vigour that they pursue fraud within their own countries.

It is difficult to see how agreeing to the amendment would advance the arguments so sincerely expressed by the hon. Member for Southend, East. Article 201 states: Without prejudice to other revenue, the budget shall be financed wholly from own resources. Is the hon. Gentleman saying that it should riot be financed wholly from own resources, but from some further contributions outside the own resources ceiling? I think not. The article also says: The Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, shall lay down provisions relating to the system of own resources in the Community, which it shall recommend to the Member States for adoption in accordance with their respective constitutional arrangements. Does the amendment imply that the Council should not act unanimously in the matter, that the European Parliament should not be consulted, that the recommendation should not be made to the member states, or that adoption should not proceed in accordance with their respective constitutional arrangements? I think not. Does the amendment imply simply that there should not be a system of own resources? That is what the hon. Member for Southend, East and those who took a similar position argued for. I find it difficult to see how that argument or any of the other implications could be in the interests of the United Kingdom or of the Community as a whole. The effect of the amendment, as well as presumably scuppering the treaty and its ratification, would be to leave us with article 201 of the treaty of Rome under which the present budgetary practices have developed. Even in terms of the hon. Gentleman's own argument, the amendment could not represent a step forward.

I argue that if closer European co-operation and integration are to proceed—there are many deep and honest difficulties in the Committee on that matter—there must be a system of financing those functions. That system can be discharged effectively only at the Community level. If there is to be stability in the management of the Community's finances, a set of rules for sources and levels of finance seems to me to be essential.

We serve our electorates better if, rather than arguing the somewhat theological point about the extent to which so-called own resources are in fact the Community's own resources, we focus on the question of how well the system serves the Community's common purposes and how far the distribution of the financial costs and benefits of the Community are compatible with principles of economic efficiency and of fairness and social justice.

Mrs. Dunwoody

I am listening to my hon. Friend with great care. I take it that the underlying thought behind his remarks is that he accepts the principle that there will be a growing curve of commitment and a growing movement of money towards the own resources system. Is that the position that those on the Front Bench are arguing?

Mr. Smith

I am accepting that, if the Community is properly to discharge its common functions, it must be adequately financed for that purpose. I do not accept any implications as regards a unitary superstate, which is a concept that those on the Labour Front Bench do not endorse. The purpose of the European Community encompasses certain common functions and we need a common system of financing so that those functions can be properly fulfilled.

In one sense, of course, the Community does not have any own resources—any more than the Government do —and my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) made that point. The income that it derives either comes from EC citizens or is acquired on behalf of the citizens of the EC, just as its expenditure is undertaken in their name. What should really be at issue in the use of the term "own resources" is the degree to which certain sources of revenue are earmarked for the EC budget within prescribed limits, in the sense that member states have each agreed to take on the obligation to pass certain revenues on to the Community.

Mr. Gill

I appreciate that such a course of action is entirely consistent with the hon. Gentleman's socialist principles. Can the hon. Gentleman enlighten me a little more than my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General was able to enlighten me. What would the hon. Gentleman say to his constituents and what does he suggest I say to mine when they discover that British taxpayers' money will be used, through the cohesion fund, to provide roads and railways in Greece, Portugal, Spain, and southern Ireland, given that many of those constituents see a grave need for those facilities in this country? A case in point is the west coast line from Euston to Glasgow, which has about six more years' life in it and will soon be in need of reinvestment of capital running into thousands of millions of pounds. What are we to tell our constituents when the west coast line breaks down and the money that we might have spent on its renewal has been spent on the four beneficiaries of the cohesion fund?

Mr. Smith

First, I shall tell my constituents—as I do —that Rover, which is already selling a lot of cars to Spain, will be selling even more when investment in that country has succeeded in improving its standard of living and bringing it closer to the average for the Community. Secondly, I shall say that we all benefit in common from the advances that common European Community action can effect. Thirdly, I shall tell my constituents that other sources of Community expenditure benefit many parts of this country and indirectly benefit all its citizens. In previous debates, a number of hon. Members representing some of the most depressed areas of the United Kingdom have made precisely that point. Where the Government have not been prepared to act, we have been able to obtain a measure of assistance through European Community funds.

Mrs. Gorman

It is kind of the hon. Gentleman to give way, but can we talk common sense? Is he really saying that his constituents will sleep better in their beds at night if they know that people in Spain can drive about on nice new roads in Rover cars, on nice new roads which people in his constituency would love to have but cannot afford because they are having to fund such improvements in other countries? Good sensible people in my constituency of Billericay have a word for that, but it is not one that a lady can use in this place.

Mr. Smith

The hon. Lady suggests that we talk common sense. Of course, many of my constituents drive Rover cars, and the more such cars are exported to Spain and other countries, the more happily they will sleep in their beds because they will know that their jobs are that much more secure. I hold the conviction that the citizens of all of Europe will be better off to the extent that we co-operate more closely in safeguarding our common economic welfare and security. That is the common sense that lies behind the common purpose of the Community.

Let me return to the question of own resources. I was arguing that the term relates to the extent to which the Community can automatically count on certain funding. As long as there is an overall limit on own resources—and the existence of that limit has not loomed large in the debate, although it is material to the way in which own resources would work in practice—and as long as there is a requirement of unanimity, as there is in article 201, the use of the term cannot imply any right of the Community to set its own tax levels or even to establish its own tax base in the true sense of the term.

On the rather more important questions of fairness and economic efficiency, the details of the own resources system have an impact on the distribution of member states' contributions to the EC budget, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Leighton) rightly drew attention. In relation to, for example, the VAT base element of own resources, those member states with a relatively high VAT base as a proportion of GNP—they include Britain—will be making larger contributions than members with a lower VAT base relative to GNP.

I argue that, because of that, and because the notional VAT base serves no proper and effective economic purpose in the assessment of EC contributions, the capping of the VAT base in 1988 and the Edinburgh decision to reduce it further with effect from 1995, and, indeed, the reduction of the ceiling on the rate of VAT from 1.4 per cent. to 1 per cent. on a notional basket of goods and services, which is taken as the basis for drawing down VAT for EC contributions, are broadly to be welcomed. Hand in hand with that goes the decision to increase the share of Community revenue contributions calculated on the basis of gross national product—the so-called fourth resource, which will be contributing 40 per cent. of revenue by the end of the century. I had expected the Paymaster General to point to that in answer to criticisms from both Conservative and Opposition Members. There has been a shift towards a wealth-related system of contributions. As my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, North-East and others would point out, that has not gone far enough: the relationship between net contribution and wealth is still not nearly strong enough. The Labour party is concerned to ensure that there is a much fairer correspondence between net contributions to the Community and the wealth of member states.

The Financial Times article of 13 February 1992, quoted in the Library briefing, estimated that, even after the United Kingdom rebate, in 1992, the United Kingdom would be the second largest net contributor after Germany even though we rank down at eighth in terms of GNP per head. Another way of looking at it is that our post-rebate net contributions to the EC budget in 1992 will run at something like 0.34 per cent. of GNP as compared with 0.62 per cent. in Germany, but only 0.15 per cent. in France and 0.04 per cent. in the Netherlands, while the rest of the member states, some of which are significantly richer than us, will be net recipients. As the hon. Member for Southend, East said, the Financial Times said that it is a scandal that the two countries with the highest average incomes in the Community—Denmark and Luxembourg —should be net beneficiaries. That is absolutely right.

The system must be changed and that will require more significant reforms in the EC budget, upon which we have already touched in earlier debates; most notably it will require further reform of the CAP.

8.30 pm
Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

The hon. Gentleman is being remarkably helpful to the Committee. With no disrespect to my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General, he is providing more information which is helpful to the Committee as it reaches a decision on the matter than anything that I heard from my right hon. Friend the Minister.

As the hon. Gentleman has been extremely informative and interesting, will he speculate with the Committee as to why the inequities and injustices in the present system have not already been attended to, bearing in mind that they are so obvious to all? Why are we not debating that rather than the nonsense of this obsolete and useless Maastricht treaty?

Mr. Smith

I support the case for more debate in the House about how we can achieve a more equitable system of contributions and receipts from the EC budget. If the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) is not satisfied with the answers from his right hon. and hon. Friends and he is better educated by contributions from the Opposition Benches, that is all to the good.

Changing the system in respect of the EC budget which the hon. Member for Macclesfield and many other hon. Members find so objectionable will require political will and more determination. He asked why there had not been more change given that the inequities are so obvious. However, I dare say that they are not quite so obvious to the majority of member states that are net beneficiaries under the system. Therein lies the problem.

We must continue to argue for sensible reform. The Labour party will do that and will continue to question the sums being spent on the Community's agricultural policy, which lies at the heart of so many of the problems.

Mr. Leighton

What would my hon. Friend say about the other two taxes involved in own resources—the levy on food imports and the tax on industrial imports? They are both very damaging for this country. They are a way of fining and penalising this country for trading with the rest of the world.

Mr. Smith

My hon. Friend draws attention to a very important matter. While I was able to point to the fact that the GNP-based contribution as a share of the Community budget would be increased to 40 per cent. and that the VAT-based contribution would be reduced, the traditional own resources contribution based on agricultural levies and levies on non-agricultural imports stay at 25 per cent. under the projections based on Edinburgh and the previous European Council meeting.

The case for the benefits to be derived from trade that can take place more freely without such a scale of additional levies and duties, particularly freer trade with central and eastern European countries, the countries of the former Soviet Union and third world countries, is something which all hon. Members should consider. There is real mutual benefit in ensuring that the Community collectively becomes more of an engine for concerted world growth, including growth in general trade, which must be part of any real worldwide recovery, and not simply a fortress Europe that closes its doors to such opportunities.

Mr. Cash

I listened with great interest to the hon. Gentleman's remarks about the reform of the CAP and the opportunity for eastern European countries and other developing countries such as Antigua—from which I have just returned and where I played cricket—and other parts of the Caribbean which have serious problems in respect of entry for their goods.

Would not the hon. Gentleman's argument be a little more convincing if he accepted that it was the failure to renegotiate such matters, as with the single market, in advance of Maastricht which was a reason for not supporting the treaty? Irrespective of the blemishes and flaws in the treaty and its contradictions, the very failure to solve or attempt to solve the problems which the hon. Gentleman is addressing, such as the CAP, is a terrible blight and indictment of the negotiating that took place in advance of the signing of the treaty.

Mr. Smith

I agree that it would have been better if a more persuasive case had been put and more progress had been made in advance of signing the treaty. It is not true to say that no progress has been made. There has been some limited reform of the CAP, but the basic difference between us is how far we see Maastricht as a framework to secure further improvement or how far we see it as an impediment. The hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) sees it as an impediment while I see it as a framework.

The Opposition will be keeping a close eye on the commitment on overall agricultural spending. While the Community budget agreed in Edinburgh shows agriculture taking a decreasing share of the total EC budget, in absolute terms it shows agriculture spending increasing from 35.2 billion ecu to 38..4 billion ecu in 1999. We believe that the escalating costs of the CAP must be reversed and expenditure switched to investment in regional, industrial and training policies to improve the economic competitiveness and prosperity of the Community, including more expenditure within the United Kingdom, for example, from the regional and social funds.

My hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) referred to the role of the European Investment Bank. It is important that we underline the difference between the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to which many comments have rightly been addressed.

I wish that the Paymaster General had said rather more firmly about the EBRD, not just that there were matters which the Government would have' to consider, but that the United Kingdom Government as shareholders in the EBRD—and, for that matter, the European Commission, as it is also a shareholder—would absolutely condemn the scandalous waste of money involved in setting up that institution. I hope that it is the firm intention to ensure that those resources are in future invested in developing central and eastern European countries and not in enriching the surroundings and standards of Christmas entertainment at the EBRD. I hope that the Committee would speak with one voice in that respect.

The European Investment Bank is a different institution. To the best of my knowledge, it does not, thankfully, have anything like the reputation for extravagance of the EBRD. On the contrary, it has been involved in many worth while projects. When the need for European co-operation to secure recovery and investment in infrastructure and to tackle unemployment has never been greater, the European Investment Bank and the purposes that it can properly serve within its defined role is an invaluable instrument for European recovery which should be used more rather than less.

Unlike Conservative Members, the Opposition recognise the importance of policies at the European level, as well as at national, regional and local levels, for economic and social cohesion so that jobs can be generated and areas that have been shattered by industrial decline can be rebuilt. It is vital that the funds available are used effectively to achieve those aims and that the scope for investment in the United Kingdom is not undermined in the future as it has been in the past by the squabbles about additionality and the Government's reluctance to provide matching expenditure for European Community funds.

The issues and other matters which I have covered can in no sense be addressed by amendment No. 57. For the reasons that I set out earlier, the Committee cannot support the amendment. It would take the Community backwards, not forwards. Therefore, while I share many of the apprehensions which have been expressed about the way in which some parts of the Community's budget are mis-spent, and the irregularities and fraud which must be condemned outright, and which more vigorous action must be taken to stop altogether, I believe that the European Community needs a system of own resources so that it can properly discharge those functions for our common welfare which can be discharged only in common across the European Community.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes (Harrow, West)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 301, Noes 281.

Division No. 232] [at 8.40pm
Adley, Robert Boswell, Tim
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)
Aitken, Jonathan Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Alexander, Richard Bowden, Andrew
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Bowis, John
Alton, David Brandreth, Gyles
Amess, David Brazier, Julian
Ancram, Michael Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl' thorpes)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Browning, Mrs. Angela
Aspinwall, Jack Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Atkinson, David (Bour' mouth E) Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Burns, Simon
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Burt, Alistair
Baldry, Tony Butler, Peter
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Butterfill, John
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Bates, Michael Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)
Batiste, Spencer Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Chapman, Sydney
Bellingham, Henry Churchill, Mr
Beresford, Sir Paul Clappison, James
Blackburn, Dr John G. Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)
Booth, Hartley Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coe, Sebastian Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Colvin, Michael Hicks, Robert
Congdon, David Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Conway, Derek Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For' st) Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Horam, John
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Cormack, Patrick Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Couchman, James Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D' by' ire) Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Dafis, Cynog Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Dalyell, Tam Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Day, Stephen Hunter, Andrew
Deva, Nirj Joseph Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Devlin, Tim Jack, Michael
Dickens, Geoffrey Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Dicks, Terry Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dorrell, Stephen Johnston, Sir Russell
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dover, Den Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Duncan, Alan Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Dunn, Bob Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)
Durant, Sir Anthony Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Dykes, Hugh Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Eggar, Tim Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S)
Elletson, Harold Key, Robert
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter King, Rt Hon Tom
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Kirkhope, Timothy
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Kirkwood, Archy
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Evennett, David Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Faber, David Knox, David
Fabricant, Michael Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Fishburn, Dudley Leigh, Edward
Forman, Nigel Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Forth, Eric Lidington, David
Foster, Don (Bath) Lightbown, David
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) Llwyd, Elfyn
Freeman, Roger Luff, Peter
French, Douglas Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fry, Peter Lynne, Ms Liz
Gale, Roger MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Gallie, Phil MacKay, Andrew
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Maclean, David
Garnier, Edward McLoughlin, Patrick
Gillan, Cheryl Madel, David
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Maitland, Lady Olga
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Major, Rt Hon John
Gorst, John Malone, Gerald
Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW) Mans, Keith
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Marland, Paul
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N) Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Grylls, Sir Michael Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Hague, William Mellor, Rt Hon David
Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom) Merchant, Piers
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)
Hampson, Dr Keith Milligan, Stephen
Hanley, Jeremy Mills, Iain
Hannam, Sir John Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)
Hargreaves, Andrew Monro, Sir Hector
Harris, David Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Haselhurst, Alan Moss, Malcolm
Hawkins, Nick Needham, Richard
Hayes, Jerry Nelson, Anthony
Heald, Oliver Neubert, Sir Michael
Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Heathcoat-Amory, David Nicholls, Patrick
Hendry, Charles Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Steen, Anthony
Norris, Steve Stephen, Michael
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Stern, Michael
Oppenheim, Phillip Stewart, Allan
Ottaway, Richard Streeter, Gary
Page, Richard Sumberg, David
Paice, James Sykes, John
Patnick, Irvine Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Patten, Rt Hon John Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Pickles, Eric Temple-Morris, Peter
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Thomason, Roy
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Thompson, Sir Donald (C' er V)
Powell, William (Corby) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Rathbone, Tim Thurnham, Peter
Redwood, John Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Tracey, Richard
Richards, Rod Tredinnick, David
Riddick, Graham Trend, Michael
Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm Trotter, Neville
Robathan, Andrew Twinn, Dr Ian
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Tyler, Paul
Robertson, Raymond (Ab' d'n S) Viggers, Peter
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Walden, George
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Wallace, James
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Waller, Gary
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Ward, John
Sackville, Tom Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim Waterson, Nigel
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas Watts, John
Shaw, David (Dover) Wells, Bowen
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian Whitney, Ray
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Whittingdale, John
Shersby, Michael Widdecombe, Ann
Sims, Roger Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Wigley, Dafydd
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Willetts, David
Soames, Nicholas Wilshire, David
Speed, Sir Keith Wolfson, Mark
Spencer, Sir Derek Wood, Timothy
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset) Yeo, Tim
Spink, Dr Robert Young, Sir George (Acton)
Spring, Richard
Sproat, Iain Tellers for the Ayes:
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Mr. Andrew Mitchell and
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Mr. James Arbuthnot.
Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Abbott, Ms Diane Boyce, Jimmy
Adams, Mrs Irene Boyes, Roland
Ainger, Nick Bradley, Keith
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov' try NE) Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)
Allen, Graham Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Budgen, Nicholas
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros' dale) Burden, Richard
Armstrong, Hilary Butcher, John
Ashton, Joe Byers, Stephen
Austin-Walker, John Caborn, Richard
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Callaghan, Jim
Barnes, Harry Campbell, Mrs Anne (C' bridge)
Barron, Kevin Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Battle, John Campbell-Savours, D. N.
Bayley, Hugh Canavan, Dennis
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Cann, Jamie
Beggs, Roy Carttiss, Michael
Bell, Stuart Cash, William
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Chisholm, Malcolm
Bennett, Andrew F. Clapham, Michael
Benton, Joe Clark, Dr David (South Shields)
Bermingham, Gerald Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Berry, Dr. Roger Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Betts, Clive Clelland. David
Biffen, Rt Hon John Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Blair, Tony Coffey, Ann
Blunkett, David Connarty, Michael
Boateng, Paul Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Body, Sir Richard Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Corbett, Robin Hutton, John
Corbyn, Jeremy Illsley, Eric
Corston, Ms Jean Ingram, Adam
Cousins, Jim Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Cox, Tom Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Cran, James Jamieson, David
Cryer, Bob Janner, Greville
Cummings, John Jessel, Toby
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Darling, Alistair Jowell, Tessa
Davidson, Ian Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Keen, Alan
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Khabra, Piara S.
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)
Denham, John Knapman, Roger
Dewar, Donald Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Dixon, Don Leighton, Ron
Dobson, Frank Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Donohoe, Brian H. Lewis, Terry
Dunnachie, Jimmy Litherland, Robert
Dun woody, Mrs Gwyneth Livingstone, Ken
Eagle, Ms Angela Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Eastham, Ken Lord, Michael
Enright, Derek Loyden, Eddie
Etherington, Bill McAllion, John
Evans, John (St Helens N) McAvoy, Thomas
Fatchett, Derek McCartney, Ian
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Macdonald, Calum
Fisher, Mark McFall, John
Flynn, Paul McKelvey, William
Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S) Mackinlay, Andrew
Foster, Rt Hon Derek McLeish, Henry
Foulkes, George McMaster, Gordon
Fraser, John McNamara, Kevin
Fyfe, Maria McWilliam, John
Galbraith, Sam Madden, Max
Galloway, George Mahon, Alice
Gapes, Mike Marek, Dr John
Gardiner, Sir George Marlow, Tony
Garrett, John Marshall, David (Shettleston)
George, Bruce Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Gerrard, Neil Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Martlew, Eric
Gill, Christopher Maxton, John
Godman, Dr Norman A. Meacher, Michael
Godsiff, Roger Meale, Alan
Golding, Mrs Llin Michael, Alun
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Graham, Thomas Milburn, Alan
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Miller, Andrew
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Grocott, Bruce Moonie, Dr Lewis
Gunnell, John Morgan, Rhodri
Hain, Peter Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)
Hall, Mike Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Hanson, David Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Hardy, Peter Mowlam, Marjorie
Harman, Ms Harriet Mudie, George
Harvey, Nick Mullin, Chris
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Murphy, Paul
Hawksley, Warren Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Henderson, Doug O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)
Heppell, John O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Hill, Keith (Streatham) O'Hara, Edward
Hinchliffe, David Olner, William
Hoey, Kate O'Neill, Martin
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Home Robertson, John Paisley, Rev Ian
Hood, Jimmy Parry, Robert
Hoon, Geoffrey Pendry, Tom
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Pike, Peter L.
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd) Pope, Greg
Hoyle, Doug Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Prescott, John
Primarolo, Dawn Stevenson, George
Purchase, Ken Stott, Roger
Quin, Ms Joyce Strang, Dr. Gavin
Randall, Stuart Sweeney, Walter
Raynsford, Nick Tapsell, Sir Peter
Redmond, Martin Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Reid, Dr John Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Robertson, George (Hamilton) Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW) Tipping, Paddy
Roche, Mrs. Barbara Trimble, David
Rogers, Allan Turner, Dennis
Rooker, Jeff Vaz, Keith
Rooney, Terry Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W) Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Ross, William (E Londonderry) Walley, Joan
Rowlands, Ted Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Sedgemore, Brian Wareing, Robert N
Sheerman, Barry Watson, Mike
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert Wicks, Malcolm
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Short, Clare Wilson, Brian
Simpson, Alan Winnick, David
Skeet, Sir Trevor Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Skinner, Dennis Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E) Wise, Audrey
Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury) Worthington, Tony
Smith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E) Wright, Dr Tony
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent) Young, David (Bolton SE)
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spearing, Nigel Tellers for the Noes:
Speliar, John Mr. Jon Owen Jones and
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Mr. Peter Kilfoyle.
Steinberg, Gerry

Question accordingly to.

Question pit accordingly, That the amendment be made: —

The committee divided: Ayes 64, Noes 298.

Division No. 233] [8.57 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Livingstone, Ken
Ashton, Joe Loyden, Eddie
Barnes, Harry Madden, Max
Beggs, Roy Maginnis, Ken
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Mahon, Alice
Bennett, Andrew F. Marlow, Tony
Biffen, Rt Hon John Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Body, Sir Richard Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Boyce, Jimmy Moate, Sir Roger
Budgen, Nicholas Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Butcher, John Paisley, Rev Ian
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Redmond, Martin
Canavan, Dennis Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Cann, Jamie Rowlands, Ted
Carttiss, Michael Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Cash, William Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Corbyn, Jeremy Simpson, Alan
Cran, James Skeet, Sir Trevor
Cryer, Bob Skinner, Dennis
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Spearing, Nigel
Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Gardiner, Sir George Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Gill, Christopher Trimble, David
Godsiff, Roger Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Harvey, Nick Winnick, David
Hawksley, Warren Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'Id)
Jessel, Toby Wise, Audrey
Knapman, Roger
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Tellers for the Ayes:
Leighton, Ron Mrs. Teresa Gorman and
Lewis, Terry Mr. Michael Lord.
Adley, Robert Aitken, Jonathan
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Alexander, Richard
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Faber, David
Alton, David Fabricant, Michael
Amess, David Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Ancram, Michael Fenner, Dame Peggy
Arbuthnot, James Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Fishburn, Dudley
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Forman, Nigel
Aspinwall, Jack Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Forth, Eric
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Foster, Don (Bath)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Baldry, Tony Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Freeman, Roger
Bates, Michael French, Douglas
Batiste, Spencer Gale, Roger
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Gallie, Phil
Bellingham, Henry Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Beresford, Sir Paul Garnier, Edward
Blackburn, Dr John G. Gillan, Cheryl
Booth, Hartley Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Boswell, Tim Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Gorst, John
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)
Bowden, Andrew Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Bowis, John Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Brandreth, Gyles Grylls, Sir Michael
Brazier, Julian Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Hague, William
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Browning, Mrs. Angela Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Hampson, Dr Keith
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Hanley, Jeremy
Burns, Simon Hannam, Sir John
Burt, Alistair Hargreaves, Andrew
Butler, Peter Harris, David
Butterfill, John Haselhurst, Alan
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Hawkins, Nick
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Hayes, Jerry
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Heald, Oliver
Carrington, Matthew Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Chapman, Sydney Heathcoat-Amory, David
Churchill, Mr Hendry, Charles
Clappison, James Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Hicks, Robert
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Coe, Sebastian Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Colvin, Michael Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Congdon, David Horam, John
Conway, Derek Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Cormack, Patrick Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Couchman, James Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Dafis, Cynog Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Davis, David (Boothferry) Jack, Michael
Day, Stephen Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Devlin, Tim Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dickens, Geoffrey Johnston, Sir Russell
Dicks, Terry Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dorrell, Stephen Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mtn)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Dover, Den Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Duncan, Alan Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Dunn, Bob Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S)
Durant, Sir Anthony Key, Robert
Dykes, Hugh King, Fk Hon Tom
Eggar, Tim Kirkhope, Timothy
Elletson, Harold Kirkwood, Archy
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon) Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Knox, David
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Evennett, David Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Leigh, Edward Salmond, Alex
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Shaw, David (Dover)
Lidington, David Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Lightbown, David Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Shersby, Michael
Llwyd, Elfyn Sims, Roger
Luff, Peter Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lynne, Ms Liz Soames, Nicholas
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Speed, Sir Keith
MacKay, Andrew Spencer, Sir Derek
Maclean, David Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
McLoughlin, Patrick Spink, Dr Robert
Madel, David Spring, Richard
Maitland, Lady Olga Sproat, Iain
Major, Rt Hon John Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Malone, Gerald Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Mans, Keith Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Marland, Paul Steen, Anthony
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Stephen, Michael
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Stern, Michael
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Stewart, Allan
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Streeter, Gary
Mellor, Rt Hon David Sumberg, David
Merchant, Piers Sweeney, Walter
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Sykes, John
Milligan, Stephen Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Mills, Iain Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW) Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Monro, Sir Hector Temple-Morris, Peter
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Thomason, Roy
Moss, Malcolm Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Needham, Richard Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Nelson, Anthony Thurnham, Peter
Neubert, Sir Michael Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Tracey, Richard
Nicholls, Patrick Tredinnick, David
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Trend, Michael
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Trotter, Neville
Norris, Steve Twinn, Dr Ian
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Tyler, Paul
Oppenheim, Phillip Viggers, Peter
Ottaway, Richard Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Page, Richard Walden, George
Paice, James Wallace, James
Patnick, Irvine Waller, Gary
Patten, Rt Hon John Ward, John
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Pickles, Eric Waterson, Nigel
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Watts, John
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Wells, Bowen
Powell, William (Corby) Welsh, Andrew
Rathbone, Tim Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Redwood, John Whitney, Ray
Renton, Rt Hon Tim Widdecombe, Ann
Richards, Rod Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Riddick, Graham Wigley, Dafydd
Robathan, Andrew Willetts, David
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Wilshire, David
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Wolfson, Mark
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Yeo, Tim
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Tellers for the Noes:
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Mr. Timothy Wood and Mr. Andrew Mitchell.
Sackville, Tom

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: No.225, in page 1, line 10, after '1992', insert

'but not the Protocol on the Transition to the Third Stage of Economic and Monetary Union'.—[Mr. Cash.]

Question put, That the amendment be made: —

The Committee proceeded to a Division—

The Chairman

Order. I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the Ayes Lobby.

The committee having divided: Ayes 74, Noes 297.

Division No. 234] [9.12 pm
Ashton, Joe Livingstone, Ken
Austin-Walker, John Loyden, Eddie
Barnes, Harry Maginnis, Ken
Beggs, Roy Mahon, Alice
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Marlow, Tony
Bennett, Andrew F. Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Body, Sir Richard Moate, Sir Roger
Budgen, Nicholas Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Butcher, John Olner, William
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Paisley, Rev Ian
Canavan, Dennis Parry, Robert
Cann, Jamie Porter, David (Waveney)
Cash, William Redmond, Martin
Chisholm, Malcolm Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Corbyn, Jeremy Rowlands, Ted
Cox, Tom Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Cran, James Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Cryer, Bob Simpson, Alan
Cummings, John Skeet, Sir Trevor
Davidson, Ian Skinner, Dennis
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Duncan-Smith, Iain Spearing, Nigel
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Gardiner, Sir George Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Gill, Christopher Townend, John (Bridlington)
Godsiff, Roger Trimble, David
Harvey, Nick Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Hawksley, Warren Watson, Mike
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Winnick, David
Jessel, Toby Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Knapman, Roger Wise, Audrey
Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Legg, Barry Tellers for the Ayes:
Leighton, Ron Mrs. Teresa Gorman and
Lewis, Terry Mr. Michael Lord.
Adley, Robert Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Browning, Mrs. Angela
Aitken, Jonathan Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Alexander, Richard Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Burns, Simon
Alton, David Burt, Alistair
Amess, David Butler, Peter
Ancram, Michael Butterfill, John
Arbuthnot, James Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Aspinwall, Jack Carrington, Matthew
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Chapman, Sydney
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Churchill, Mr
Baldry, Tony Clappison, James
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Bates, Michael Coe, Sebastian
Batiste, Spencer Colvin, Michael
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Congdon, David
Bellingham, Henry Conway, Derek
Beresford, Sir Paul Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Blackburn, Dr John G. Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Booth, Hartley Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Boswell, Tim Cormack, Patrick
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Couchman, James
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Bowden, Andrew Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Bowis, John Dafis, Cynog
Brandreth, Gyles Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Brazier, Julian Davis, David (Boothferry)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Day, Stephen
Deva, Nirj Joseph Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Devlin, Tim Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dickens, Geoffrey Johnston, Sir Russell
Dicks, Terry Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dorrell, Stephen Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Dover, Den Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Duncan, Alan Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Dunn, Bob Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S)
Durant, Sir Anthony Key, Robert
Dykes, Hugh King, Rt Hon Tom
Eggar, Tim Kirkwood, Archy
Elletson, Harold Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter Knight, Greg (Derby N)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield) Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Evans. Jonathan (Brecon) Knox, David
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley) Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth) Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Evennett, David Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Ewing, Mrs Margaret Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Faber. David Leigh, Edward
Fabricant, Michael Lennox-Boyd, Mark
Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Fenner, Dame Peggy Lidington, David
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) Lightbown, David
Fishburn, Dudley Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Forman, Nigel Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Llwyd, Elfyn
Forth, Eric Luff, Peter
Foster, Don (Bath) Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman Lynne, Ms Liz
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring) MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley) MacKay, Andrew
Freeman, Roger Maclean, David
French, Douglas McLoughlin, Patrick
Gale, Roger Madel, David
Gallie, Phil Maitland, Lady Olga
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan Malone, Gerald
Garnier, Edward Mans, Keith
Gillan, Cheryl Marland, Paul
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Gorst, John Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW) Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Mellor, Rt Hon David
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Merchant, Piers
Grylls, Sir Michael Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn Milligan, Stephen
Hague, William Mills, Iain
Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom) Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)
Hampson, Dr Keith Monro, Sir Hector
Hanley, Jeremy Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Hannam, Sir John Moss, Malcolm
Hargreaves, Andrew Needham, Richard
Harris, David Nelson, Anthony
Haselhurst, Alan Neubert, Sir Michael
Hawkins, Nick Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hayes, Jerry Nicholls, Patrick
Heald, Oliver Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Heathcoat-Amory, David Norris, Steve
Hendry, Charles Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Oppenheim, Phillip
Hicks, Robert Ottaway, Richard
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Page, Richard
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Paice, James
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Patnick, Irvine
Horam, John Patten, Rt Hon John
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Pickles, Eric
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Powell, William (Corby)
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W) Rathbone, Tim
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Redwood, John
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne) Richards, Rod
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Riddick, Graham
Jack, Michael Robathan, Andrew
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn Temple-Morris, Peter
Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S) Thomason, Roy
Robinson, Mark (Somerton) Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent) Thurnham, Peter
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Ryder, Rt Hon Richard Tracey, Richard
Sackville, Tom Tredinnick, David
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim Trend, Michael
Salmond, Alex Trotter, Neville
Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas Twinn, Dr Ian
Shaw, David (Dover) Tyler, Paul
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey) Viggers, Peter
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Walden, George
Shersby, Michael Wallace, James
Sims, Roger Waller, Gary
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick) Ward, John
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Soames, Nicholas Waterson, Nigel
Speed, Sir Keith Watts, John
Spencer, Sir Derek Wells, Bowen
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset) Welsh, Andrew
Spink, Dr Robert Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Spring, Richard Whitney, Ray
Sproat, Iain Widdecombe, Ann
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch) Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Wigley, Dafydd
Steel, Rt Hon Sir David Willetts, David
Steen, Anthony Wilshire, David
Stephen, Michael Wolfson, Mark
Stern, Michael Wood, Timothy
Stewart, Allan Yeo, Tim
Streeter, Gary Young, Sir George (Acton)
Sumberg, David
Sykes, John Tellers for the Noes:
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Mr. Timothy Kirkhope and Mr. Nicholas Baker.
Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: No.268, in page 1, line 10, after'1992', insert

'but not Article 12.1 of the Protocol on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank'. —[Mr. Cash.]

Question put, That the amendment be made: —

The Committee divided: Ayes 82, Noes 295.

Division No. 235] [9.29pm
Adams, Mrs Irene Duncan-Smith, Iain
Ashton, Joe Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Austin-Walker, John Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)
Barnes, Harry Galloway, George
Beggs, Roy Gardiner, Sir George
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Gill, Christopher
Bennett, Andrew F. Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Biffen, Rt Hon John Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Body, Sir Richard Harvey, Nick
Budgen, Nicholas Hawksley, Warren
Butcher, John Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Callaghan, Jim Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Jessel, Toby
Canavan, Dennis Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Cann, Jamie Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Carttiss, Michael Legg, Barry
Cash, William Leighton, Ron
Chisholm, Malcolm Lewis, Terry
Cohen, Harry Livingstone, Ken
Corbyn, Jeremy Loyden, Eddie
Corston, Ms Jean McAllion, John
Cox, Tom McKelvey, William
Cran, James Madden, Max
Cryer, Bob Maginnis, Ken
Cummings, John Mahon, Alice
Davidson, Ian Marlow, Tony
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Olner, William Tapsell, Sir Peter
Paisley, Rev Ian Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Porter, David (Waveney) Townend, John (Bridlington)
Redmond, Martin Trimble, David
Ross, William (E Londonderry) Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Rowlands, Ted Watson, Mike
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge) Winnick, David
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Simpson, Alan Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Skeet, Sir Trevor Wise, Audrey
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent) Tellers for the Ayes:
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S) Mr. Michael Lord and
Spearing, Nigel Mr. Roger Knapman.
Adley, Robert Day, Stephen
Ainsworth, Peter (Easf Surrey) Deva, Nirj Joseph
Aitken, Jonathan Devlin, Tim
Alexander, Richard Dickens, Geoffrey
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Dicks, Terry
Alton, David Dorrell, Stephen
Amess, David Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Ancram, Michael Dover, Den
Arbuthnot, James Duncan, Alan
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Dunn, Bob
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Durant, Sir Anthony
Aspinwall, Jack Eggar, Tim
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Elletson, Harold
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Baldry, Tony Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Bates, Michael Evennett, David
Batiste, Spencer Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Faber, David
Bellingham, Henry Fabricant, Michael
Beresford, Sir Paul Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Blackburn, Dr John G. Fenner, Dame Peggy
Booth, Hartley Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Boswell, Tim Fishburn, Dudley
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Forman, Nigel
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Bowden, Andrew Forth, Eric
Bowis, John Foster, Don (Bath)
Brandreth, Gyles Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Brazier, Julian Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Freeman, Roger
Browning, Mrs. Angela French, Douglas
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Gale, Roger
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Gallie, Phil
Burns, Simon Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Burt, Alistair Garnier, Edward
Butler, Peter Gillan, Cheryl
Butterfill, John Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Gorst, John
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)
Carrington, Matthew Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Churchill, Mr Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Clappison, James Grylls, Sir Michael
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Hague, William
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Coe, Sebastian Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Colvin, Michael Hampson, Dr Keith
Congdon, David Hanley, Jeremy
Conway, Derek Hannam, Sir John
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Hargreaves, Andrew
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Harris, David
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Haselhurst, Alan
Cormack, Patrick Hawkins, Nick
Couchman, James Hayes, Jerry
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Heald, Oliver
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Dafis, Cynog Heathcoat-Amory, David
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hendry, Charles
Davis, David (Boothferry) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Hicks, Robert Ottaway, Richard
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L. Page, Richard
Hill, James (Southampton Test) Paice, James
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Patnick, Irvine
Horam, John Patten, Rt Hon John
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Pickles, Eric
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) Powell, William (Corby)
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W) Rathbone, Tim
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Redwood, John
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne) Richards, Rod
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Riddick, Graham
Jack, Michael Robathan, Andrew
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Johnston, Sir Russell Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Sackville, Tom
Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S) Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Key, Robert Salmond, Alex
King, Rt Hon Tom Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kirkhope, Timothy Shaw, David (Dover)
Kirkwood, Archy Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Shersby, Michael
Knox, David Sims, Roger
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Soames, Nicholas
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Speed, Sir Keith
Leigh, Edward Spencer, Sir Derek
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Spink, Dr Robert
Lidington, David Spring, Richard
Lightbown, David Sproat, Iain
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Llwyd, Elfyn Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Luff, Peter Steen, Anthony
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Stephen, Michael
Lynne, Ms Liz Stern, Michael
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stewart, Allan
Maclean, David Streeter, Gary
McLoughlin, Patrick Sumberg, David
Madel, David Sykes, John
Maitland, Lady Olga Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Malone, Gerald Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Mans, Keith Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Marland, Paul Temple-Morris, Peter
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Thomason, Roy
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Thurnham, Peter
Mellor, Rt Hon David Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Merchant, Piers Tracey, Richard
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Tredinnick, David
Milligan, Stephen Trend, Michael
Mills, Iain Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Twinn, Dr Ian
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW) Tyler, Paul
Monro, Sir Hector Viggers, Peter
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Moss, Malcolm Walden, George
Needham, Richard Wallace, James
Nelson, Anthony Waller, Gary
Neubert, Sir Michael Ward, John
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Nicholls, Patrick Waterson, Nigel
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Watts, John
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Wells, Bowen
Norris, Steve Welsh, Andrew
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Oppenheim, Phillip Whitney, Ray
Widdecombe, Ann Yeo, Tim
Wiggin, Sir Jerry Young, Sir George (Acton)
Wigley, Dafydd
Willetts, David Tellers for the Noes:
Wilshire, David Mr. Sydney Chapman and Mr. Andrew MacKay.
Wolfson, Mark
Wood, Timothy

Question accordingly negatived.

Mr. Cash

On a point of order, Mr. Morris. You will know that amendment No.426 deals with the European Parliament and with the proposals for the drawing up of the new voting arrangements in all the member states. You will probably know that this evening the Italian people, by a referendum, have decided that they will not have proportional representation—

The Chairman

Order. That is not a point of order for the Chair, as the hon. Gentleman well knows. I call amendment No. 426.

Mr. Marlow

On a point of order, Mr. Morris.

The Chairman

Order. I have alreadly called amendment No. 426.

Amendment proposed: No. 426, in page1, 17, at end add 'with the Proviso that Article 138(3) is fully implemented in the United Kingdom before the fourth direct6 elections to the European parliament.'—[Mr. Kirkwood.]

Question put, That the amendment be made: —

The Committee divided: Ayes 36, Noes 325.

Division No. 237] [10.03 pm
Adley, Robert Dykes, Hugh
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Eggar, Tim
Aitken, Jonathan Elletson, Harold
Alexander, Richard Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Alton, David Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Amess, David Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Ancram, Michael Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Arbuthnot, James Evennett, David
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Faber, David
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Fabricant, Michael
Aspinwall, Jack Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Fenner, Dame Peggy
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Fishburn, Dudley
Baldry, Tony Forman, Nigel
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Forth, Eric
Bates, Michael Foster, Don (Bath)
Batiste, Spencer Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Bellingham, Henry Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Beresford, Sir Paul Freeman, Roger
Blackburn, Dr John G. French, Douglas
Booth, Hartley Fry, Peter
Boswell, Tim Gale, Roger
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Gallic, Phil
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Bowden, Andrew Garnier, Edward
Bowis, John Gillan, Cheryl
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Brandreth, Gyles Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Brazier, Julian Gorst, John
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Browning, Mrs. Angela Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Grylls, Sir Michael
Burns, Simon Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Burt, Alistair Hague, William
Butler, Peter Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Butterfill, John Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Hampson, Dr Keith
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Hanley, Jeremy
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hannam, Sir John
Carrington, Matthew Hargreaves, Andrew
Chapman, Sydney Harris, David
Churchill, Mr Haselhurst, Alan
Clappison, James Hawkins, Nick
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Hayes, Jerry
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Heald, Oliver
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Coe, Sebastian Heathcoat-Amory, David
Colvin, Michael Hendry, Charles
Congdon, David Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Conway, Derek Hicks, Robert
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Cormack, Patrick Horam, John
Couchman, James Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Dafis, Cynog Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)
Davis, David (Boothferry) Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Day, Stephen Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Deva, Nirj Joseph Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Devlin, Tim Hunter, Andrew
Dickens, Geoffrey Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas
Dicks, Terry Jack, Michael
Dorrell, Stephen Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dover, Den Johnston, Sir Russell
Duncan, Alan Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Dunn, Bob Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn)
Durant, Sir Anthony Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr) Robathan, Andrew
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Key, Robert Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
King, Rt Hon Tom Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Kirkhope, Timothy Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Kirkwood, Archy Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Sackville, Tom
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Knox, David Shaw, David (Dover)
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Shersby, Michael
Leigh, Edward Sims, Roger
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lidington, David Soames, Nicholas
Lightbown, David Speed, Sir Keith
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Spencer, Sir Derek
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Llwyd, Elfyn Spink, Dr Robert
Luff, Peter Spring, Richard
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Sproat, Iain
Lynne, Ms Liz Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Maclean, David Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
McLoughlin, Patrick Steen, Anthony
Madel, David Stephen, Michael
Maitland, Lady Olga Stern, Michael
Major, Rt Hon John Stewart, Allan
Malone, Gerald Streeter, Gary
Marland, Paul Sumberg, David
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Sykes, John
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Mellor, Rt Hon David Temple-Morris, Peter
Merchant, Piers Thomason, Roy
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Milligan, Stephen Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Mills, Iain Thurnham, Peter
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW) Tracey, Richard
Monro, Sir Hector Tredinnick, David
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Trend, Michael
Moss, Malcolm Trotter, Neville
Needham, Richard Twinn, Dr Ian
Nelson, Anthony Tyler, Paul
Neubert, Sir Michael Viggers, Peter
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Nicholls, Patrick Walden, George
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Wallace, James
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Waller, Gary
Norris, Steve Ward, John
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Oppenheim, Phillip Waterson, Nigel
Ottaway, Richard Watts, John
Page, Richard Wells, Bowen
Paice, James Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Patnick, Irvine Whitney, Ray
Patten, Rt Hon John Whittingdale, John
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Widdecombe, Ann
Pawsey, James Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Pickles, Eric Wigley, Dafydd
Porter, Barry (Wirral S) Willetts, David
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael Wilshire, David
Powell, William (Corby) Wolfson, Mark
Rathbone, Tim Yeo, Tim
Redwood, John Young, Sir George (Acton)
Ronton, Rt Hon Tim
Richards, Rod Tellers for the Ayes:
Riddick, Graham Mr. Timothy Wood and
Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm Mr. Andrew MacKay.
Abbott, Ms Diane Ainger, Nick
Adams, Mrs Irene Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Dunnachie, Jimmy
Allen, Graham Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Eagle, Ms Angela
Anderson, Ms Janet (Rosdale) Eastham, Ken
Armstrong, Hilary Enright, Derek
Ashton, Joe Etherington, Bill
Austin-Walker, John Evans, John (St Helens N)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Fatchett, Derek
Barnes, Harry Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Barron, Kevin Fisher, Mark
Battle, John Flynn, Paul
Bayley, Hugh Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Beggs, Roy Foulkes, George
Bell, Stuart Fraser, John
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Fyfe, Maria
Bennett, Andrew F. Galbraith, Sam
Benton, Joe Galloway, George
Bermingham, Gerald Gapes, Mike
Berry, Dr. Roger Gardiner, Sir George
Betts, Clive Garrett, John
Biffen, Rt Hon John George, Bruce
Blair, Tony Gerrard, Neil
Blunkett, David Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Boateng, Paul Gill, Christopher
Body, Sir Richard Godman, Dr Norman A.
Boyce, Jimmy Godsiff, Roger
Boyes, Roland Golding, Mrs Llin
Bradley, Keith Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Graham, Thomas
Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Budgen, Nicholas Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Burden, Richard Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Butcher, John Grocott, Bruce
Byers, Stephen Gunnell, John
Caborn, Richard Hain, Peter
Callaghan, Jim Hall, Mike
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Hanson, David
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Hardy, Peter
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Harman, Ms Harriet
Canavan, Dennis Harvey, Nick
Cann, Jamie Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Cash, William Hawksley, Warren
Chisholm, Malcolm Henderson, Doug
Clapham, Michael Heppell, John
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian) Hinchliffe, David
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hoey, Kate
Clelland, David Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Home Robertson, John
Coffey, Ann Hood, Jimmy
Cohen, Harry Hoon, Geoffrey
Connarty, Michael Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Cook, Frank (Stockton N) Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hoyle, Doug
Corbett, Robin Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Corbyn, Jeremy Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Corston, Ms Jean Hughes, Roy (Newport E)
Cousins, Jim Hutton, John
Cox, Tom Ingram, Adam
Cran, James Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Cryer, Bob Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Cummings, John Jamieson, David
Cunliffe, Lawrence Janner, Greville
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE) Jessel, Toby
Cunningham, Rt Hon Dr John Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Dalyell, Tarn Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Darling, Alistair Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Davidson, Ian Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral) Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Jowell, Tessa
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Keen, Alan
Denham, John Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)
Dewar, Donald Khabra, Piara S.
Dixon, Don Kilfoyle, Peter
Dobson, Frank Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)
Donohoe, Brian H. Knapman, Roger
Dowd, Jim Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Duncan-Smith, Iain Legg, Barry
Leighton, Ron Radice, Giles
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Randall, Stuart
Lewis, Terry Raynsford, Nick
Litherland, Robert Redmond, Martin
Livingstone, Ken Reid, Dr John
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Richardson, Jo
Lord, Michael Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Loyden, Eddie Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)
McAllion, John Roche, Mrs. Barbara
McAvoy, Thomas Rogers, Allan
McCartney, Ian Rooker, Jeff
Macdonald, Calum Rooney, Terry
McFall, John Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
McKelvey, William Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Mackinlay, Andrew Rowlands, Ted
McLeish, Henry Sedgemore, Brian
McMaster, Gordon Sheerman, Barry
McNamara, Kevin Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
McWilliam, John Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Madden, Max Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Maginnis, Ken Short, Clare
Mahon, Alice Simpson, Alan
Mandelson, Peter Skeet, Sir Trevor
Mans, Keith Skinner, Dennis
Marek, Dr John Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Marlow, Tony Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Smith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S) Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Martlew, Eric Soley, Clive
Maxton, John Spearing, Nigel
Meacher, Michael Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Meale, Alan Steinberg, Gerry
Michael, Alun Stevenson, George
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Stott, Roger
Milburn, Alan Strang, Dr. Gavin
Miller, Andrew Straw, Jack
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby) Sweeney, Walter
Molyneaux, Rt Hon James Tapsell, Sir Peter
Moonie, Dr Lewis Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Morgan, Rhodri Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe) Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley) Tipping, Paddy
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Trimble, David
Mowlam, Marjorie Turner, Dennis
Mudie, George Vaz, Keith
Mullin, Chris Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Murphy, Paul Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Walley, Joan
O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire) Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
O'Brien, William (Normanton) Wareing, Robert N
Olner, William Watson, Mike
O'Neill, Martin Wicks, Malcolm
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Wilkinson, John
Paisley, Rev Ian Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Parry, Robert Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Pendry, Tom Wilson, Brian
Pickthall, Colin Winnick, David
Pike, Peter L. Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Pope, Greg Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Porter, David (Waveney) Wise, Audrey
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Worthington, Tony
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E) Wright, Dr Tony
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle) Young, David (Bolton SE)
Prescott, John
Primarolo, Dawn Tellers for the Noes:
Purchase, Ken Mr. Eric Illsley and Mr. John Spellar.
Quin, Ms Joyce

Question accordingly negatived.

It being after Ten o'Clock, THE CHAIFMAN left the Chair to repot progress and ask leave to sit again.

Committee report progress.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No 14 (Exempted business), That, at this day's sitting the European Communities (Amendment)Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour. —[Mr. Arbuthnot.]

The House divided: Ayes 302, Noes295.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Again considered in Committee.

Mr. Spearing

On a point of order, Miss Fookes. In the normal course of events, the next Question would be, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill. As this is, in effect, a one-clause Bill, may I put it to you that we should debate that Question, just in case you might think otherwise?

The second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (Dame Janet Fookes)

I have already given consideration to hat matter, and I have come to the conclusion that adequate debate has taken place on all aspects of the clause.

Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No 67(Debate on schedule standing part), That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 296, Noes 96.

Division No. 238] [10.21 pm
Adley, Robert Devlin, Tim
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Dickens, Geoffrey
Aitken, Jonathan Dicks, Terry
Alexander, Richard Dorrell, Stephen
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Alton, David Dover, Den
Amess, David Duncan, Alan
Ancram, Michael Dunn, Bob
Arbuthnot, James Durant, Sir Anthony
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesharn) Dykes, Hugh
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Eggar, Tim
Aspinwall, Jack Elletson, Harold
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E) Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North) Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Baldry, Tony Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Evennett, David
Bates, Michael Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Batiste, Spencer Faber, David
Beith, Rt Hon A. J. Fabricant, Michael
Bellingham, Henry Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas
Beresford, Sir Paul Fenner, Dame Peggy
Blackburn, Dr John G. Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Booth, Hartley Fishburn, Dudley
Boswell, Tim Forman, Nigel
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Forth, Eric
Bowden, Andrew Foster, Don (Bath)
Bowis, John Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Brandreth, Gyles Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Brazier, Julian Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Freeman, Roger
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) French, Douglas
Browning, Mrs. Angela Gale, Roger
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset) Gallie, Phil
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Burns, Simon Garnier, Edward
Burt, Alistair Gillan, Cheryl
Butler, Peter Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Butterfill, John Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Gorst, John
Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry) Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Greenway. Harry (Ealing N)
Carrington, Matthew Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Chapman, Sydney Grylls, Sir Michael
Churchill, Mr Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Clappison, James Hague, William
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif) Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Coe, Sebastian Hampson, Dr Keith
Colvin, Michael Hanley, Jeremy
Congdon, David Hannam, Sir John
Conway, Derek Hargreaves, Andrew
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Harris, David
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Haselhurst, Alan
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Hawkins, Nick
Cormack, Patrick Hayes, Jerry
Couchman, James Heald, Oliver
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Heathcoat-Amory, David
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Hendry, Charles
Dafis, Cynog Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Davies, Quentin (Stamford) Hicks, Robert
Davis, David (Boothferry) Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.
Day, Stephen Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Deva, Nirj Joseph Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Horam, John Patten, Rt Hon John
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Pickles, Eric
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A) Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W) Powell, William (Corby)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Rathbone, Tim
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Redwood, John
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne) Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Richards, Rod
Jack, Michael Riddick, Graham
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Rifkind, Rt Hon. Malcolm
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Robathan, Andrew
Johnston, Sir Russell Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Kennedy, Charles (Ross, C&S) Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Key, Robert Sackville, Tom
King, Rt Hon Tom Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Kirkhope, Timothy Salmond, Alex
Kirkwood, Archy Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Shaw, David (Dover)
Knight, Greg (Derby N) Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Knox, David Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Shersby, Michael
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Sims, Roger
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Leigh, Edward Soames, Nicholas
Lennox-Boyd, Mark Speed, Sir Keith
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe) Spencer, Sir Derek
Lidington, David Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lightbown, David Spink, Dr Robert
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Spring, Richard
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Sproat, Iain
Llwyd, Elfyn Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Luff, Peter Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Lynne, Ms Liz Steen, Anthony
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stephen, Michael
Maclean, David Stern, Michael
McLoughlin, Patrick Stewart, Allan
Madel, David Streeter, Gary
Maitland, Lady Olga Sumberg, David
Major, Rt Hon John Sykes, John
Malone, Gerald Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Mans, Keith Taylor, John M. (Solihull)
Marland, Paul Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Temple-Morris, Peter
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Thomason, Roy
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Mellor, Rt Hon David Thurnham, Peter
Merchant, Piers Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute) Tracey, Richard
Milligan, Stephen Tredinnick, David
Mills, Iain Trend, Michael
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW) Twinn, Dr Ian
Monro, Sir Hector Tyler, Paul
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Viggers, Peter
Moss, Malcolm Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Needham, Richard Walden, George
Nelson, Anthony Wallace, James
Neubert, Sir Michael Waller, Gary
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Ward, John
Nicholls, Patrick Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Waterson, Nigel
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West) Watts, John
Norris, Steve Wells, Bowen
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley Welsh, Andrew
Oppenheim, Phillip Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John
Ottaway, Richard Whitney, Ray
Page, Richard Whittingdale, John
Paice, James Widdecombe, Ann
Patnick, Irvine Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David Tellers for the Ayes:
Wolfson, Mark Mr. Timothy Wood and
Yeo, Tim Mr. Andrew MacKay.
Young, Sir George (Acton)
Abbott, Ms Diane Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Adams, Mrs Irene Leighton, Ron
Ainger, Nick Lewis, Terry
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Livingstone, Ken
Ashton, Joe Lord, Michael
Austin-Walker, John Loyden, Eddie
Barnes, Harry McAllion, John
Beggs, Roy McKelvey, William
Benn, Rt Hon Tony McWilliam, John
Bennett, Andrew F. Madden, Max
Body, Sir Richard Maginnis, Ken
Budgen, Nicholas Mahon, Alice
Butcher, John Marlow, Tony
Callaghan, Jim Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Canavan, Dennis Michie, Bill (Shettleston Heeley)
Cann, Jamie Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Carttiss, Michael Molyneaux, Rt Hon James
Cash, William Olner, William
Chisholm, Malcolm Paisley, Rev Ian
Clapham, Michael Parry, Robert
Cohen, Harry Pickthall, Colin
Connarty, Michael Porter, David (Waveney)
Corbyn, Jeremy Redmond, Martin
Cox, Tom Rooney, Terry
Cran, James Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Cummings, John Rowlands, Ted
Davidson, Ian Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'I) Simpson, Alan
Dunnachie, Jimmy Skeet, Sir Trevor
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S) Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Galloway, George Spearing, Nigel
Gardiner, Sir George Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Gerrard, Neil Steinberg, Gerry
Gill, Christopher Tapsell, Sir Peter
Godman, Dr Norman A. Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Trimble, David
Graham, Thomas Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Wilkinson, John
Hall, Mike Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Harvey, Nick Winnick, David
Howarth, George (Knowsley N) Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Winterton, Nicholas (Macc't'ld)
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H) Wise, Audrey
Jamieson, David
Jessel, Toby Tellers for the Noes:
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Mr. Bob Oyer and Mr. Dennis Skinner.
Knapman, Roger

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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