New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: I have been listening very carefully to the hon. Gentleman's [The Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, Jimmy Hood's] thoughtful and fair-minded comments. Does he think that it would have made any difference if a country such as the United Kingdom had gone ahead with holding a vote and had similarly rejected the idea of a constitution, as he and I suspect would have happened?Alternatively, does he think that political elites in some of the other EU member countries would nevertheless have pressed on in the rather arrogant way that he describes so accurately?

[Mr Hood: In my usual, respectful way, I think that the UK Government were absolutely right not to have a referendum. Through their actions, they were saying that they respect the fact that the treaty had been rejected in two member states, so I do not support the view in favour of a referendum. We respected the decisions taken in Holland and France and called off our referendum.]