and gasas happened during the Suez crisis the OPEC embargo the Iranian crisis

And gasas happened during the suez crisis the opec

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and gas—as happened during the Suez crisis, the OPEC embargo, the Iranian crisis, and on several other occasions—we would be vulnerable to the European Community deciding that oil and gas should be shared fairly across the whole Community. My right hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer) said that the process would be reciprocal. Of course it would—we would share the oil and gas that we have with others and they would share the oil and gas that they do not have with us. Angus Robertson: A bit like fishing in Scotland. Mr. Lilley: Very much so, but at least we share that and the money that comes from it. Certainly, we would never prevent the Scottish people from enjoying adequate supplies of oil and gas; I can assure the hon. Gentleman, who has become almost a friend in the course of these debates, of that. My constituents are worried, too, about the implications for asylum and immigration, which is a significant issue. We were told by the right hon. Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) that he did not think that the new treaty would have any implications in that regard, but article 77 says: “The Union shall develop a policy with a view to: (a) ensuring the absence of any controls on persons, whatever their nationality, when crossing internal borders”. In the theology of the European Union, “internal borders” includes all our ports of entry through which people come from the continent. If this treaty is implemented and adhered to, we will not have any powers to make checks, even on non-EU nationals, entering our ports and airports, even though it is sensible and practical for an island to
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take advantage of its nature and operate checks at its borders, rather than waiting until people have got inside to do so. Why does this treaty arouse more concern in this country—as was the case with previous treaties—than it has in many continental countries? I spend such free time as this House allows me, which is not a great deal, in my home in France. I am a great Europhile, as the Minister for Europe knows. I have worked in a lot of continental countries, and I was the chairman of a German company with interests throughout Europe. When I talk to my friends on the continent, they often ask, “Why are you more concerned about these things than we are?” The simple reason is that the United Kingdom has greater differences and idiosyncrasies than almost any other member does vis- -vis the generality of the Community. We have a different history and a different geography. We are an island. We have different institutions. Our institutions and our structure of law have tended to evolve over time, rather than be the result of invasions or revolutions that have swept away past institutions. We have never been occupied. We have not had a revolution for several hundred years. We were not subjected 11 Mar 2008 : Column 240 to Napoleonic laws, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat- Amory) said. We have a maritime disposition, rather than a continental disposition. We
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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