Nigel Huddleston participated in a debate on the European Union in Parliament on Tuesday, following a statement about the European Council from the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister re-iterated his commitment to holding an in/out referendum, confirmed that ministers would be able to campaign to stay in or to leave, and updated the House on a recent European Council meeting which focused on the issues of migration, terrorism and the UK’s renegotiation.
In his comments, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn talked about wanting “a more cohesive and progressive Europe”.
Responding to these comments in the Commons, Nigel asked:
“Does the Prime Minister agree that there is nothing progressive or noble about handing over more and more powers to unelected, unaccountable overseas bodies? And does he agree with my constituents that moving away from the principle of ever closer union is important because it sets out a clear direction of intent?”
The Prime Minister responded:
“My honourable friend is right. That is why, as I have said, Britain’s engagement on Europe is not half-hearted. When it comes to the single market, we are its greatest champions... When it comes to wanting to sign deals with the fastest-growing parts of the world, we are the ones making the argument. However, we have never believed in ever closer union or in a political superstate. That is not what we want.
I want to give the British people a very clear choice. We can be in Europe for the trade and the co-operation and the security that we require, but we do not want to be part of some federalising project. I think that while we are out of the euro and out of Shengen, and not having to be part of those supranational things, we will get a good deal.”
After the debate, Nigel said:
“Having listened to the Labour Leader and Labour MP’s comments, I was alarmed that they were confusing ‘progressive’ with creating some kind of United States of Europe and was pleased that the Prime Minister stated, in contrast, that the UK had no interest in creating a European political superstate.
Many constituents have contacted me about Europe and many are concerned about the general direction of the Union. I believe that currently the EU is heading in a direction we never signed up to - it's too big, too bossy and too interfering. I was pleased therefore to hear David Cameron’s commitment to achieving an opt out for the UK on ‘ever closer union’.
I believe that the UK can achieve genuine, lasting reform that benefits not just the British people, but people across Europe as well. Following the renegotiation, when everything has been done to reach a new settlement that maximises the benefits of membership for the UK, the British people will have a genuine choice in the form of a referendum - and I shall be voting in whatever way I believe is in the UKs best economic interests.”
For more information please contact Nigel Huddleston on 07789983719 or his Parliamentary office on 0207 219 5814