(24 September 1992, Hansard, on economic policy, extracted from a speech),
"I will not make a political speech, but my own opinion is that this country's problems will be solved in Britain, by us—and only when we have solved them will we be able to have satisfactory relations with other countries. If we want an industry, we must see to it that there is an industry. We do not leave the police, Army and hospitals to market forces; we decide to have them. Agriculture has been sustained that way. No economic magic—devaluation, floating pound, exchange rate mechanism or independent central bank—will guarantee that Britain retains and expands its industrial base.
The real cause of the problem stretches across the House. In the 1980s, most, if not all, of us were persuaded that market forces would provide a prosperous economy. They do not, because one cannot close down Rolls-Royce today and open it tomorrow, any more than one can close down a farm today and reopen it tomorrow. That is the only controversial point that I will make.
This is not an economic debate but a political debate. Longer ago than the 1980s every party—my own was equally involved—reached the conclusion that, because world capital was so powerful, the country must integrate itself deeper and deeper into a structure in Europe, where power was to be moved from the electors of the Parliaments to the European Commissioners and to a Council of Ministers, which makes laws in secret. It must be the only Parliament in the world that meets in secret. The right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Sir E. Heath) asked why the Council of Ministers should meet in public, as though it were a Cabinet—but it is a parliament.
We are rapidly moving towards full European union. I do not use the word "Maastricht" any more, because it does not mean anything to a pensioner who cannot manage on his money. If we ask, "Do you want this country absorbed into a full European union?" people know exactly what we are saying. A referendum does not mean much to people. But if we ask, "Do you think that you have the right to decide before this country is put into a full European union?" the public understand. Let us not use terms such as Maastricht, referendum, or managed exchange rates—let us call a spade a spade. The people have the right to decide the future of this country.
The treaty that was meant to unite Europe has divided every nation, every party in Europe and every party in the House. I have never known anything more divisive. I will not mention the treaty's name because I do not believe in it, any more than I believe in talking about Thatcherism. I can only say that I only represent Chesterfield and Denmark tonight, so I have a bigger constituency. I also represent half of France, so I cannot be described as holding isolated views, or be called a typical little Englander when the Danes agree with me.
To talk of being pro-Europe or anti-Europe is a plain lie. We were born Europeans and will die Europeans. It is a matter of geography. The question is what sort of Europe it will be. Am I anti-British because I do not like the Prime Minister or his policies? Of course not. Is one anti-American because one does not believe that they should have done this or that in Panama? We are discussing our own future and that of Europe. I introduced the Commonwealth of Europe Bill, and when the Maastricht treaty—there, I have said it now—dies, I believe that that Bill will acquire greater relevance."