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Mr. William Cash (Stone): Will the Foreign Secretary acknowledge that the Danish people, despite their Government being fully in favour of all the arrangements at Nice, decisively rejected movement towards a single currency, and with it, therefore, the concept of European integration? Will he accept also that under the surface in many applicant countries--I acknowledge that their leadership, their elite and their establishment have changed their laws to comply with the acquis communautaire, sometimes against a great deal of resistance--there is a serious degree of uncertainty, as in Poland and the Czech Republic, about where they are going, based largely on a lack of information but also on the apprehension that they are being taken into the sort of Europe that they do not want?

Mr. Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock): When was the hon. Gentleman last in those countries?

Mr. Cash: I have been there six times in the past year with the Select Committee on European Scrutiny.

Mr. Cook: I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on having pointed out that the Danish Government gave their

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people a referendum on the single currency. That is something that the Conservatives do not propose to do if they ever get into government. I warn the hon. Gentleman against tempting to speak more authoritatively for the peoples of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia than the Governments of those countries.

Yes, those countries have carried out difficult and challenging reforms. The changes were often painful and politically difficult, but they made the effort to get themselves ready for membership of the European Union. They will not comprehend it if Conservative Members refuse to go along with reforms of the EU that are necessary for that membership. If Conservative Members intend to persist with an approach that can only delay enlargement, I believe that they will find that what Lord Brittan has said today is absolutely right. They will score a major own goal both for the Conservative party in Britain and for Britain in Europe.

Mr. Menzies Campbell (North-East Fife): Suppose that the Foreign Secretary were wrong both about the commitment and the eventuality and, as a result, the treaty of Nice was not ratified. What does the right hon. Gentleman think the consequences would be for the market economies and the democratic values that the applicant countries have espoused?

Mr. Cook: During Thursday, two separate leaders from central Europe warned that if they did not receive the encouragement that they need from adoption of an agreement at Nice, they saw within their own countries the rise of extremist nationalist forces. We should remember that those forces within applicant countries that are looking outwards and stand for freedom, democracy and market liberalisation are those that have committed themselves to making a success of their application to Europe. If Europe were to delay negotiations, that would be a major victory for the forces of nationalism and chauvinism.

To conclude on Europe--

Mr. Bercow: Will the Foreign Secretary give way?

Mr. Cook: I could not possibly conclude on Europe without giving way to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Bercow: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving way. Earlier the Prime Minister mentioned the importance of subsidiarity, although as we know, it was not even on the agenda at Nice. Why does the Foreign Secretary not have the guts to admit that the subsidiarity and proportionality protocol of the treaty of Amsterdam, which he championed at the time, has been utterly unsuccessful in stemming the tide of European directives and regulations impacting on this country, such that 3,000 further regulations have been introduced since its passage? If the right hon. Gentleman disagrees, would he care to name three regulations adversely affecting this country's interest that have since been repealed?

Mr. Cook: None immediately springs to mind, which proves the success of the protocol in preventing them from being introduced.

I believe that I can make the hon. Gentleman happy. It is a challenging task, but I shall try. He will be delighted to hear that in the declaration that we adopted yesterday

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in Nice, looking forward to the future debate on the evolution of the European Union, there is a specific commitment--indeed, it is the first commitment--that that debate will consider limiting the competencies of the European Union and respecting the principle of subsidiarity. [Interruption.] If the hon. Gentleman is unhappy about how far we have gone--[Interruption]--I assume that he will welcome the chance that we can make further progress as a result of what we agreed at Nice.

Mr. Bercow: Utterly meaningless.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Lord): Order. We cannot have incessant interventions from a sedentary position. Mr. Secretary Cook.

Mr. Cook: I am grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

To conclude the passage on Europe, we have come back from Nice with more votes than Britain has ever secured before. That follows on from our previous record: we came back from Amsterdam with the legal basis for border controls, which Opposition Members never secured when they were in office. It follows on from Berlin, when we came back with a better deal on structural funds than Opposition Members ever secured.

If, at the next election, the Opposition want to fight on the contrast between our performance at European summits, we will be delighted to take them on. If Europe is the greatest contrast between their record and our achievements, there are many other contrasts too--for example, the Balkans.

British foreign policy on the former Yugoslavia throughout the early 1990s was a failure. It was a national humiliation in Bosnia, where we sent British troops as part of an inadequate protection force which could protect neither itself nor the victims of the ethnic cleansing that it was meant to prevent. The 8,000 victims of Srebrenica lie heavily on the conscience of all countries in the protection force that failed to prevent their massacre.

Some hon. Members argued that our action in Kosovo would make Milosevic and his policies stronger within Serbia. In the past three months, Milosevic has gone out of office. Although he still struts as leader of a party, in the last poll that party was down to a diminishing 5 per cent. of public support. What would have strengthened Milosevic would have been for us to allow him to empty Kosovo of its people and claim victory for the Serbs. If we had permitted that, Milosevic would still be in office in Belgrade, and almost a million Kosovo refugees would still be in refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania.

My only regret is that the previous Government wasted those years in Bosnia by failing to stop ethnic cleansing then. If they had shown the same resolve then, Milosevic might have gone long ago, before this year.

After our debate two weeks ago, I went to Zagreb to attend a conference with the countries of the western Balkans. For the first time, the democratic representatives of a modern Serbia sat round the same table with us as the representatives of Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia. For the first time, Serbia announced that it would establish diplomatic relations with Bosnia as a separate, single, sovereign state.

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I particularly welcomed the commitment by the new Yugoslav Foreign Minister to open an office in Belgrade for the war crimes tribunal. Since we came to office, we have stepped up our support for the war crimes tribunal. We have built it an extra courtroom and, uniquely, supplied it with our intelligence support. We helped it with a witness protection scheme and, in the past three years, Britain has been involved in most of the arrests carried out for the tribunal. One of the officials whom I met at The Hague last year said that it was possible to date the change of Government in Britain by the change in support for the tribunal. We have followed through our commitment to making sure that war criminals are pursued, with a commitment in the Queen's Speech to introduce a Bill to give effect to the treaty on the International Criminal Court.

That has been one of the Government's priorities. The British delegation to the Rome conference played a leading part in the negotiations on the treaty that set up the court. The British delegation insisted that the definition of war crimes should embrace both wars between states and internal conflicts, such as that in Bosnia. The British delegation pressed for the inclusion of crimes of sexual violence, such as the use of mass rape as an instrument of ethnic cleansing. The British delegation proposed that the court should have the power to order those who are found guilty to pay reparation to their victims.

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow): On the International Criminal Court, I was greatly impressed by the logistics set up by the Scottish Crown service when I visited Camp Zeist. It would be a great pity if, once the Lockerbie trial is over, that place were destroyed, as it is a facility for an International Criminal Court. Will my right hon. Friend make urgent inquiries into whether it can be kept in place?

Mr. Cook: My hon. Friend has already been good enough to tell me of his favourable impression of arrangements for the staff there, and I shall convey that to those involved in Camp Zeist. The International Criminal Court could be sited in the Netherlands. Certainly, the Netherlands' co-operation with us in arranging for a Scottish court to meet under Scottish jurisdiction in the territory of the Netherlands to carry out the Lockerbie trial has immensely enhanced the status of the Netherlands as a natural seat of international justice.

Obviously, I can reflect on what my hon. Friend has said and discuss it with my opposite number, the Netherlands Foreign Minister. However, that particular site was created under a specific, narrow agreement. We will need to look carefully at whether the local authorities and the national Government are willing to consider its remaining in permanent use.

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