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Lord Richard: My Lords, all I have is the communiqué. There is no point in Ministers shouting at me. I have the communiqué, which I have read, and I have what the Prime Minister said about it. All I am saying to the House and to Ministers, and particularly a Minister who may have been present, is that the two do not match up.
I hope I may say a word about Northern Ireland. The fact that the Community is to produce £240 million for Northern Ireland is extraordinarily welcome. It is interesting to note, too, that a good bit of intervention is called for if the £240 million is to be forthcoming. It is to provide support,
Is that money to be genuinely additional; in other words, do the Government have to put up their £240 million before the Community produces its £240 million? I am delighted to see the nods on the Government Front Bench. The only trouble is the noble Lord the Lord Privy Seal is nodding his head up and down and the noble Baroness, Lady Chalker, is nodding her head from left to right. It happens in all governments but no doubt before the noble Lord the Lord Privy Seal gets up, perhaps someone can tell him whether the Government have to put up £240 million of their own money in order to get the £240 million from Brussels. If they have to match the Brussels contribution, can we have an assurance from the Government that they will match it? I pause for nods but there are none forthcoming. How wise!
I hope I may say one or two words about eastern Europe. I think the steps that have been taken at the summit were useful steps towards preparing for further enlargement. It is clear that no serious negotiations will take place with anyone until after 1996. I suppose, frankly, that that is right. The communiqué refers to the three Baltic states and to Slovenia. It seems that the objective is to bring those four also into the negotiating process for enlargement. Does that mean that we are now contemplating, and seriously envisaging, the possibility of an extra 10 members of the European Union, the six East Europeans plus the three Baltics and Slovenia, by a date towards the end of this century, and if so, what do the Government think that will do to the Maastricht timetable for a common European currency and for greater integration in Europe?
I now wish to say a word about Bosnia. It is an unhappy story in which confusion of aims has produced confusion of policies. I think there is very much a feelingit does emerge from this special communiqué on Bosniathat things are slipping in a way which
I said that much had been left over until after 1996. Do the Government recognise that this will no longer be a conference solely about the updating of Maastricht or the implementation of what was then agreed? It is beginning to assume a much greater importance with the increased possibilities of further enlargement by the end of the century. I think we have to get the institutional framework right if that enlargement is to succeed. I hope the Government are giving that some very serious thought indeed.
Finally, I wish to say one word about the president of the Commission, M. Delors. The communiqué was generous in what it had to say about his 10 years as president of the Commission. I think it was somewhat ungraciousif I may say soof the Prime Minister not even to mention it in the course of his Statement. Whatever one thinks about the policies of M. Delors, he has pursued his vision with consistency, with determination and with a very considerable degree of success. I think it would have been better had the Government recognised that this afternoon in the Statement.
Baroness Seear: My Lords, we on these Benches wish also to thank the noble Lord the Leader of the House for repeating this Statement. The fact that the press regarded it as a rather dull summit is all to the good. It is nice when they cannot find anything particular to snipe at. We also are glad to see that the European Community is prepared to provide an additional £240 million over three years for Northern Ireland. However, I, too, would like the confirmation for which the noble Lord, Lord Richard, asked, as to how this stands in relation to what the British Government will have to produce.
I would also like to suggest that the people who have been sniping so hard at the additional payment to be made to the funds of the European Union should take note of the fact that we are getting an additional £240 million for Northern Ireland. That must be very welcome and a fairly good exchange for the extra £90 million that we are committed to paying.
Of course we welcome the attack on fraud. We in this House have a good record of having revealed and opposed the fraud that is taking place in the Community. Those on all sides of the House, the pro-Europeans and the anti-Europeans, are, I think, agreed that fraud is intolerable. Can the noble Lord tell us what means are being adopted to check up on what happens? We have heard acceptable statements about the unsuitability and the intolerable behaviour of people who carry out fraud, but we want to know what methods will be used to make sure that it stops, because that is the only thing that will make any difference.
I believe it is also frequently referred to as being decisions made at the lowest level at which they can effectively be undertaken. Has it escaped the Government's attention that this definition of subsidiarity, which we all support, is entirely compatible with federalism as understood everywhere except in the United Kingdom? It is interesting that the so-called federalists, who are indeed federalists, in the rest of the Community accept subsidiarity as much as it is accepted by Her Majesty's Government because they have a better understanding of what federalismas we in our party have always understood it in fact means.
Like the noble Lord, Lord Richard, we are, of course, very concerned about the increase in jobs and what that will really mean in terms of extra funds that may be forthcoming. To be fair to the Government they have of course always recognised that it was necessary to put more money into education and training. They have put a great deal more into education and training than have any Labour government that I can recall. We are glad to see that this is supported by the Commission and hope that the Government will take it up vigorously.
Additional money, which would of course also create jobs, is, I notice, forthcoming for the Channel Tunnel rail link. Does this mean that, with good fortune, we shall no longer have the same opportunity that President Mitterrand pointed out for admiring the Kent countryside on the way to the port, and if so, how quickly will this take place? Many Members of your Lordships' House had the pleasant experience of travelling in the tunnel and it is delightful to be able to get to Paris in three hours. However, we would have a much better journey if we could get to the Kent coast rather more swiftly than we did on the occasion to which I refer. Perhaps some of that money could be used to make a high speed link, which we have wanted to see for so long, really work.
Regarding the future of the European Union, of course we welcome the fact that enlargement is being accepted. We welcome the new additions to the Union and support entirely the move towards further enlargement. However, that must mean that we need to take a very good look at the institutions of the European Union. The language problem alone is horrific, when one thinks of all the possible permutations and combinations of languages which will be required. The dominance of the interpreters will increase to an intolerable degree unless something is done. However, that is only one aspect of the reform of the institutions which should be undertaken in anticipation of enlargement. Can we be told what is likely to happen in that regard?
There is also the question of Bosnia and the disturbances in the countries of the former Soviet Union. I have to refer to them in that way because I am quite unable to pronounce the names of the areas in which military action is taking place. Does that not underline the importance of much greater co-ordination on defence and foreign affairs in the European Union as a
We on these Benches very much support the continued presence of the UNPROFOR troops and the continuation of the humanitarian work in Bosnia. Having seen some of the work at first hand, I can say that it would be deplorable if we were unable to continue to give that help. We should not forget that there are probably hundreds of thousands of people alive today who would be dead if that help had not been given and who will probably die if the support is discontinued.
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