8th May 1967 Column 1154. Mr Eric S. Heffer (Lab): “I also want us to go into the Community because I believe that a United States of Europe is absolutely essential, and I want to see a Socialist United States of Europe. That is the prospect. I believe that we can get a socialist United States of Europe.”
Finally, I will finish with Mr Peter Shore (Lab) (as he was then) on 22 February 1972 column 1164: “When we consider the net effects of what we pay out and receive back, these arrangements are little short of a national disaster. No Government in their senses could have agreed to terms so clearly against and detrimental to our interests. It is difficult to imagine a system of taxation, a tax mix, that could impose a heavier and more disproportionate burden upon us than the particular tax mix that has emerged as the permanent tax system of the Community under the “own resources” rule. I do not say that was the Community’s purpose, but they have been extremely blind in not recognising the grievous effect this is bound to have upon us. Indeed, I cannot recall another example in history of a free country, without compulsion from outside, entering upon an arrangement so damaging to itself.”
“Apart from being disastrous and unfair, these arrangements, as the Financial Secretary has made abundantly clear, constitutes a direct challenge to the most important power of Parliament, our exclusive control over taxation. As the Ways and Means Resolution makes clear, we shall permit the Community to tax the British people. We are acceding not just to the Treaty of Rome but to the Treaty of Luxembourg of April 1970, which specifically authorised the Community to have its own resources and to receive the yield of the three taxes to which I have referred.”
“That agreement was a major development in the Community and I found it extraordinary that, in our debate last week, neither the Solicitor General nor the Prime Minister had anything to say about it. The Solicitor-General amused himself greatly by quoting from the 1967 White Paper on the legal and constitutional implications of Britain joining the Common Market but, in his efforts to show that the constitutional innovation of the Communities having directly applicable law in the United Kingdom was known in 1967, he totally, and to me surprisingly, omitted to mention the second and even greater constitutional innovation which occurred in 1970: the right of the Communities to tax directly the Member States”.
“For the Prime Minister to say, as he did last Thursday, that the constitutional position has not changed in any single respect since the negotiations of 1961, when it was fully discussed in the House time and again, is stretching the truth to the greatest possible extent.”
“This is a major development in the Communities, as a consequence of which there is a major intrusion into the sovereignty of Parliament. The strongest of all our constitutional principles is that Parliament, and in particular the House of Commons which represents the people of this country, alone has the right to levy taxation. That has been the basic constitutional doctrine. Because Parliament three centuries ago insisted on this right, we gradually brought the Crown and the Executive under the control of elected representatives. As we were reminded recently, Parliament made the supply of money to the Government conditional on the remedying of grievances. That was the way in which control by the House of Commons was brought about”.
“There should be no doubt about what is intended here. It is not proposed that we should make a contribution to the Communities, which we can alter if we think it is too much or too little. It is not a contribution at all. The right to levy taxes, which are specified, is to be ceded to non-elected institutions of the Community without the further consent of Parliament of the British people as the Ways and Means Resolution puts it, we shall be, giving effect to any charge to taxation of those Communities. That is quite unacceptable to us.”
There are more, many, many more pages of these debates, for the debates on our entry into the Community cover a great many number of years. I hope I have proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that most, if not all Members of Parliament knew what the Community was eventually, step by step, to become. Many Members of Parliament wanted to join, many did not. Again without a doubt, the truth of what the Community was to become was kept from the people of this Country. This was a complete betrayal to ALL in this Country. Today’s politicians can find out the true facts of our history regarding this County’s entry into the European Community in exactly the same way that I have. It just takes time and patience. It is all recorded, every sordid detail, (Britain’s shame) in Hansard.
No matter how long ago these events took place, the Members of Parliament that are still alive, should and must be made accountable for their actions, in the same way that ‘today’s’ MPs will surely be!