HC Deb 29 June 1994 vol 245 cc813-4

Mr. Secretary Hurd, supported by the Prime Minister, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Secretary Heseltine, Mr. Secretary MacGregor, Mr. Secretary Hunt, Mrs. Gillian Shephard and Mr. Heathcoat-Amory, presented a Bill to amend the definition of "the Treaties" and "the Community Treaties" in section 1(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 so as to include the treaty concerning the accession of the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the European Union; and to approve that treaty for the purposes of section 6 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1978: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed. [Bill 138.]

Mr. William Cash (Stafford)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. Is it not inconsistent, in line with the opinion poll that has just been released showing that 67 per cent. of Conservative Members of Parliament are against a single currency, for us to find that, contrary—[Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. I shall determine whether that is a point of order. Most points of order put to me are totally bogus and many points of order from hon. Members who are now complaining are equally bogus. I know a bogus point of order when I hear one and there is one coming my way. I am ready to answer the hon. Gentleman, but I am such a courteous Speaker that I do not want to interrupt him. Will the hon. Gentleman now come to the point of order that is for me and leave out the percentages and the political arguments?

Mr. Cash

I endorse your view on these matters, Madam Speaker. I simply say that the House of Commons has recently enacted a Bill which states that we shall decide in due course whether we are to move towards economic and monetary union and a single currency. In a speech, my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that he wishes—

Madam Speaker

Order. Let me help the hon. Gentleman. I gave him his chance, and I know exactly what he is getting at. If the hon. Gentleman reads the Order Paper carefully, he will see precisely what the Bill is and is not about.

Mr. Tony Marlow (Northampton, North)

Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. The Bill is about the potential accession of various other countries to the European Community. If there is to be monetary union, that then is a European state. We need to know whether or not the Government are in favour of that.

Madam Speaker

The Bill is not about European currency. It is about the accession of members to the European Union. I am surprised that the hon. Members who raised the matter are not aware of that.

Mr. Andrew Faulds (Warley, East)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker

Is this another bogus point of order coming my way?

Mr. Faulds

It is absolutely genuine, Madam Speaker—as are all my points of order. May I simply congratulate you on your toughness?

Madam Speaker

The hon. Gentleman has seen nothing yet.