sábado, 11 de diciembre de 2010

"No! No! No!"

On economic and monetary union, I stressed that we would be ready to move beyond the present position to the creation of a European monetary fund and a common Community currency which we have called a hard ecu. But we would not be prepared to agree to set a date for starting the next stage of economic and monetary union before there is any agreement on what that stage should comprise. And I again emphasised that we would not be prepared to have a single currency imposed upon us, nor to surrender the use of the pound sterling as our currency.

It is our purpose to retain the power and influence of this House, rather than denude it of many of its powers. I wonder what the right hon. Gentleman's policy is, in view of some of the things that he said. Would he have agreed to a commitment to extend the Community's powers to other supplementary sectors of economic integration without having any definition of what they are? One would have thought, from what he said, that he would. The Commission wants to extend its powers and competence into health matters, but we said no, we would not agree to that.

From what the right hon. Gentleman said, it sounded as though he would agree, for the sake of agreeing, and for being Little Sir Echo, and saying, "Me, too." Would the right hon. Gentleman have agreed to extending qualified majority voting within the Council, to delegating implementing powers to the Commission, to a common security policy, all without any attempt to define or limit them? The answer is yes. He does not have a clue about the definition of some of the things that he is saying, let alone securing a definition of others.

Yes, the Commission wants to increase its powers. Yes, it is a non-elected body and I do not want the Commission to increase its powers at the expense of the House, so of course we differ. The President of the Commission, Mr. Delors, said at a press conference the other day that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community, he wanted the Commission to be the Executive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to be the Senate. No. No. No.

Perhaps the Labour party would give all those things up easily. Perhaps it would agree to a single currency and abolition of the pound sterling. Perhaps, being totally incompetent in monetary matters, it would be only too delighted to hand over full responsibility to a central bank, as it did to the IMF. The fact is that the Labour party has no competence on money and no competence on the economy--so, yes, the right hon. Gentleman would be glad to hand it all over. What is the point of trying to get elected to Parliament only to hand over sterling and the powers of this House to Europe?

Mr. Norman Tebbit (Chingford) : Does my right hon. Friend agree that the mark of a single currency is not only that all other currencies must be extinguished but that the capacity of other institutions to issue currencies must also be extinguished? In the case of the United Kingdom, that would involve Parliament binding its successors in a way that it has hitherto regarded as


The Prime Minister : I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. This Government have no intention of abolishing the pound sterling. If the hard ecu were to evolve and much greater use were to be made of it, that would be a decision for future Parliaments and generations. That decision could be taken only once.

It should not be taken in the current atmosphere, but only after the greatest possible consideration. I believe that both Parliament and sterling have served this country and the rest of the world very well. We are more stable and influential with sterling, and it is an expression of our sovereignty. This Government believe in the pound sterling.

Dr. David Owen (Plymouth, Devonport) : Is it not perfectly clear that what was being attempted at Rome was a bounce which led only one way-- to a single federal united states of Europe? Is it not vital that, in this House and across party lines, it should be possible for a Prime Minister to make it clear, if necessary, that Britain is prepared to stand alone? We should not relish it, but if we were faced with the imposition by treaty of a single currency and with a situation that prevented the enlargement of the Community to include Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, would not Britain be entitled and right to use the veto?

The Prime Minister : I totally agree with the right hon. Gentleman. That is precisely the stance that we took. It is the stance that we have taken on many previous occasions. The European monetary system to which we belong is designed for 12 sovereign states, in co-operation with one another, to come to an exchange rate mechanism. What is being proposed now- -economic and monetary union--is the back door to a federal Europe, which we totally and utterly reject. We prefer greater economic and monetary co- operation, which can be achieved by keeping our sovereignty.

Mr. Ron Leighton (Newham, North-East) : There is no majority in the House for EMU, but is the Prime Minister aware that I attended a conference in Italy last year at which an Italian Minister spoke to me about EMU? I said, "What if Mrs. Thatcher opposes it?" Ungallantly, he laughed out loud and said, "We have met Mrs. Thatcher many times--she squawks and makes a noise at the beginning but always comes round and gives way in the end." What assurances and guarantees can the Prime Minister give the House that she will not give way on this issue, as she gave way on the Madrid condition about British inflation before joining the ERM?

The Prime Minister : That is what they said when I was negotiating for a better budget deal for Britain. Twice, the people in the Commission-- our people in the Commission and the presidency of the Commission--advised me to give way. They found out differently.

1 comentario:

Francisco Mendez dijo...

muy bueno.
aviso no contestare vuestros post. ni escribire nuevos. me he fracturado el brazo derecho, y el medico me recomendo no escribir, ya volvere a es cribir saludos