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PC17: Signing of Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty is one that advances Britain’s national interest, that expands opportunity and prosperity for all our communities, and that creates a more democratic Europe - with Britain at its heart. It protects what is distinctive about each nation, including our pound, while also recognising we can be stronger by working together. Our diplomats have worked hard to negotiate a Treaty that works for Britain; it is now up for Parliament to ratify it - rejecting it would harm Britain, harm our communities, and harm our economy.
Let us be under no illusion here, Labour are not altruistically proposing a referendum on our future with the Maastricht Treaty out of the goodness of their hearts or a desire to hear from the people, they are doing so to paper over a rift in the centre of their party. Two years ago Sir Never-Here won the leadership election by the narrowest of narrow margins against a far more europhillic rival in the form of former Shadow Foreign Secretary Griff Rhys Morrison, his deputy repeated the feat albeit with a marginally stronger result. Many prominent Labourites on the front and backbenches have been vocal about their support for Britain taking a stronger stance in Europe and becoming a leading light, is it any wonder that Griff recently had to step down? This referendum is a cover, a smokescreen, to paper over the cracks in Labour over the future of our foreign policy and our relationship with Europe, they are led by the worst hangovers and hangers on of the old hard left Bennite movement, fearful of Europe, the West, and NATO whilst demanding we sever ties with them all; meanwhile their backbenches clammer for something better. I urge people not to be taken in by Labour's quiet civil war and to stand by their own convictions, we are elected to govern the country not baulk and run for cover at the first mildly controversial legislative issue that comes our way and can't be avoided by pointing at our manifestos.

The Maastricht Treaty is a fundamentally spectacular document that democratises Europe, safeguards our national sovereignty, and furthers the British national interest beyond compare. Every legislative matter will go before the European Parliament, a major win for democracy. Every legislative matter will go before the European Council, a body comprising the elected government minister of each nation, and every legislative matter will be subject to a national veto unless there is a pre-existing alternative method for dealing with it. Furthermore we have written into European law that the British people will not be forced to adopt the Euro, we have guaranteed an opt-out safeguard to protect our Pound Sterling which we will put to a referendum for you to decide the future with. This treaty is good news for the British people and I have every faith in our Parliament to ratify it on behalf of the citizens at home who it stands to benefit so very greatly.
The Labour Party have made it abundantly clear it will be taking a position on Maastricht, which I will outline in the House when the time is due. But we're absolutely clear that whether we support it or not, the significant constitutional change it guarantees means it should be put to a public vote. The British public should do better to ignore the Foreign Secretary's conspiracy theories of a 'quiet civil war' in the Labour Party and acknowledge that there is a very public civil war in the Tory one, with even people in cabinet leaking against the Foreign Secretary's course. 
The Berlin Wall has fallen, and democracy is spreading across Europe. Now is the perfect time to commit to a future as a leading member of a growing, prosperous, and strong continent. European integration means more good jobs for British people, it means the right to work, travel, live, and love abroad, and it means that the frontiers of accountable, developed democracy are expanded once more. Our country will be stronger, safer, and better off for signing the treaty. It will also mean that we can lead the way on reform - on CAP, on accountability, and on the environment, Britain can spearhead change as a leading player. But we need a referendum first, and we need to take our arguments to every corner of the country and speak to all sorts of people in all sorts of places with all sorts of lives, experiences, and backgrounds. The anti-Europe case doesn't wash with voters - it didn't in 1975 and it won't now. It's time to have a vote and win it, so we can put it behind us.
Labour keep pointing to "significant constitutional reform" but they can't point out a single power which we lose control of, quite to the contrary we secure our sovereignty with this treaty. The Maastricht Treaty is the first treaty in modern European History that has not changed the exercising of a power from unanimous voting to majority voting nor change the voting powers within the European Council. What this means is that we have fulfilled our promise to keep the British national veto on all matters existing or new, allowing us to default to British law if we disapprove of the direction Europe is travelling, whilst also protecting the pound sterling, the rebate, and our voting power for non-unanimous European issues. This is a treaty that secures British sovereignty and respects our constitution, no matter how many times Labour try and pretend it's the biggest constitutional upheavel since 1688.

I respect the Lib Dem position, I don't agree with it, but I respect it. The Liberal Democrats very are open about their desire to tear up the constitution and have referenda every three months, I appreciate the honesty. What I do not appreciate is the blatant dishonesty coming from Labour pretending that a referendum is necessary for the Maastricht Treaty and only for the Maastricht Treaty. Let's examine the facts. The Maastricht Treaty protects the British pound, providing us with a Euro opt-out should we want to use it. The Maastricht Treaty protects British sovereignty, protecting our national veto, our nation voting power, and our national rebate worth tens of millions of pounds a week. The Maastricht Treaty also furthers our aims in Europe, it introduces real democracy ensuring that both the European Council and the European Parliament get a binding say on every legislative matter and it protects our economy by widening our ERM band - allowing us to use fiscal and monetary policy to full effect to tackle future economic shocks. Labour want to pretend that this is cause for a referendum because they are desperately trying to keep their backbenches happy whilst allowing their leadership to continue their explicitly anti-European positions of the last four decades. Don't fall for their fabrications, demand your MP does their job and votes on the Maastricht Treaty rather than fobbing the difficult decisions away because they don't want to deal with the consequences.
I stand by the Labour Party’s core values of social justice, internationalism and cooperation. I believe most people would also consider those British values. Signing up to a Treaty with our European friends, neighbours and allies is, in my mind, a principled and beneficial move for this country.

However, in failing to fully sign up to the important social chapter, the government have missed a key opportunity to craft more socially just wage practices and a more equal Europe. 

In failing to guarantee scrutiny powers for Westminster, the Government have failed to adequate ensure equitable cooperation between members and a balance of national sovereignty and internationalism. 

In failing to ensure fair and sensible fiscal rules, the Government have signed up to an austerity-driven agenda that puts private profit ahead of quality public services. 

Like most people, I am an internationalist and believe in fair cooperation, but this Tory treaty achieves neither. 
Gruffydd Rhys Morrison MP
Labour and Cooperative
Member for Easington
Formerly Shadow Foreign Secretary
Biography  | XP: 5| Traits: Safe pair of hands
Issue Champion: Britain’s place in the world
Contrary to what the Foreign Secretary says today, the Labour Party cannot approve of the Maastricht and makes it very clear we are wholly against its implementation. We came into the EEC wanting economic union, and instead the Maastricht Treaty has laid the groundwork for political union, establishing the foundations of a European currencies, European central banks, European citizenship and European armies alongside European Presidents, European Parliaments, European flags and European anthems. The Foreign Secretary has not provided us with any route to steer clear of this drift towards a federal Europe and political union, but instead given us stopgaps and handbrakes.
The Maastricht Treaty this government has negotiated is a huge missed opportunity to create a Europe that works for people over a Europe that works for banks and corporations. With his promises to fully sign us up to the social charter and remove our opt outs on social provision broken right in front of us, the Maastricht Treaty has symbolised the Foreign Secretary doing nothing to lift up rights, protections and standards for British and European workers and consumers and nothing to sign us up to the few standards that already exist.

The Foreign Secretary has peddled conspiracy theories about Labour being 'divided.' I can assure him he is more than wrong: whatever our view on the European project, the Labour Party is utterly united in fighting for a social Europe and utterly opposed in the government's failure in delivering that social Europe promised by our European friends.
The Government-negotiated Maastricht Treaty - unsurprisingly, given the economic wreckage its Tory negotiators imposed upon our country - represents nothing short of a raw deal for working people in every corner of Britain. Austerity - the same principle which guided the vicious Tory cuts to our communities and public services, the horrid implications we live with today - is ingrained into the very bedrock of Macmillan's deal. Deficit spending - and a substantial amount of it - is necessary to uplift working people and rebuild a sustainable, stable economy after the malicious economic experiment Thatcher, Macbeath, and Myerscough have subjected us to. If you look at the most recent Government Budget - even the Tories agree. Yet the terms of this miserable deal restrict our ability to invest in working communities, prevent us from enacting a comprehensive plan to restore our industry, forever condemning working people to wallow within the framework of a deindustrialized, low-wage, precarity-based economy in which the many suffer while a few enjoy immense luxury. Further, this Treaty enshrines the right for the few to privatise away what is ours, allowing even greater inequality and the further hollowing out of our industrial jobs and the communities they support. The Tories' wealthy mates are certainly having a good laugh at the prospect of the passage of a Treaty that significantly cedes and restricts our ability to organise an economy to meet human needs and shift wealth and power into the hands of working people. 

This Treaty wasn't written for working people, it includes clauses that unequivocally harm working people - condemning them to austerity and economic precarity. Instead, it was written to pad the pocketbooks of City of London speculators and the industrial barons who grew rich by looting and pillaging the source of our good-paying, stable union jobs. They have gotten their way to our detriment every second of every day for the last 13 years. It's time that working people got our way and I am proud that Labour will be opposing this boss's and bankers' racket and demanding an internationalism that puts working people, not the few, first every time. 
Tommy Dawson
MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Deputy Leader of Labour (1990-Present), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 8 XP. Media Darling, Campaign Guru
To fail to ratify this Treaty would mean turning our backs on something that brings people and countries together to tackle the big challenges we face. I believe that where it is possible to chart our own path as a nation we should do so, but that we also must be prepared - and willing - to work with other nations in the national interest. For this reason I signed, as Prime Minister, the Maastricht Treaty. It brings Europe  together in cooperation to strengthen our economic ties, to strengthen our fight against crime, and to strengthen our stand against dictators and human rights abusers. This is in our national interest and we should not be ashamed of recognising that. For while, as a nation, we can do so much alone, we can do so much more working together - and with Maastrict that means a stronger economy, safer streets, and a securer world.

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