David Miliband I think that it is at general elections that we convince the

David miliband i think that it is at general

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David Miliband: I think that it is at general elections that we convince the British people and Labour has a pretty good record on that— [Interruption.] Several hon. Members rose— Mr. Speaker: Order. We must have calmness. David Miliband: The Conservative party tried peddling its Europhobia at the 2001 general election, and we all know what happened then. Mr. Mark Harper (Forest of Dean) (Con): Will the Foreign Secretary give way? David Miliband: No, I want to make this point, because— [ Interruption.] Mr. Speaker: Order. Allow the Secretary of State to continue his speech. It does not appear that he is giving way. David Miliband: I was coming to the obsession with the myths about the EU. Last week, we heard one that I thought had been buried for good. At Prime Minister’s questions, the Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Witney (Mr. Cameron), announced that the treaty will bring in a united states of Europe. A united states of Europe means one country, one Government, one currency and every single country of the EU reduced to the status of a county council. Under no circumstances
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could that be a true description of the Lisbon treaty, which is why no one among the opponents of the treaty believes it—not even the Dutch Party for the Animals, with which the Conservative party is now allied on the issue. If the right hon. Member for Witney really believes that the treaty means a united states of Europe, he is honour bound to recommend that we leave the EU if the treaty is ratified. I hope that when the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks responds on behalf of the Opposition, he will either disown his leader’s comment or say how he can foresee living in such an EU, because many Labour Members have doubts about what the Conservative party’s real agenda is in respect of the EU. Mr. Harper: I am grateful to the Foreign Secretary for giving way. I want to take him back to the point that he made a few moments ago, because he cannot be allowed to get away with it. At the last election, the Labour party put the issue on one side by pledging a referendum on a European constitution. The public believe, rightly, that the constitution is pretty much the same as the treaty. They have rumbled the Foreign Secretary and he cannot pretend that he has a democratic mandate to push these measures through. David Miliband: We will test the democratic mandate at the next general election and see what the result is. 11 Mar 2008 : Column 161 The right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks claims that the new high representative “will in time not merely supplement Members States’ voices in foreign affairs, but replace them”. That is the claim even though the European Scrutiny Committee has said that “the largely intergovernmental nature of the CFSP and ESDP will be maintained, with no significant departures from the arrangements which currently apply”.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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