CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEMOCRACY – EUROPE & PR – 15 February 2000

Dr Julian Lewis: In my customary consensual way on these issues, may I ask the Foreign Secretary about systems of proportional representation, which he supports? Given the overwhelming opposition to such systems in the Labour and Conservative parties, will he guarantee that any veto that would prevent Europe from imposing on this country a proportional electoral system for which we had not voted ourselves is not among the many vetoes that he may be considering giving up?

[Mr Cook: I welcome the hon. Gentleman's attempt at consensus-building, although he will have to go a little further next time to secure it. I am aware of no such proposal and plainly would not welcome it. No European Union country –]

[SEDENTARY SUPPLEMENTARY:] Would the Foreign Secretary veto it?

[Mr Cook: I am not even aware of the proposal. It would be my firm view that every nation should set its own electoral system.]