CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION – 1 May 2007

Dr Julian Lewis: The Minister [for Europe (Geoff Hoon)] has said that if the constitution comes back, there will be a referendum. The leaked letter that Chancellor Merkel sent to the Prime Minister and other heads of European countries makes it quite clear that the only differences that are going to be proposed are purely presentational ones. Therefore, will we have a referendum if the Merkel proposals go forward?

Geoff Hoon: It is always difficult to comment on a draft document –

Dr Lewis: It is a letter.

Mr Hoon: The hon. Gentleman refers to it as a letter, as I think did the right hon. Member for Wells (David Heathcoat-Amory) earlier. I have seen a series of questions that the German presidency has raised. Those questions are not necessarily answered in the document. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman logically recognises that, being no more than questions, they are not necessarily indicative of anyone position's at present.