William Cash (Stone, Conservative):
Has my right hon. Friend had an opportunity to read the blueprint published over the weekend by Mr Barroso, which contains 50 pages of detailed proposals for a full banking, fiscal and, ultimately, political union? Does he think that any of the proposals that this country has made have the remotest chance of being listened to in the context of that document, and of what Mr Noyer said the other day? Lastly, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the European Scrutiny Committee receives an early explanatory memorandum from the Government on those proposals?
John Bercow (Speaker):
I know that the legendary intellectual agility of the Minister of State will enable him to provide one pithy reply to the three questions that have just been posed.
David Lidington (Minister of State (Europe and NATO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Aylesbury, Conservative):
I read President Barroso’s comments with interest. He was of course talking not about the immediate negotiations on a banking union but about the longer-term development of the eurozone and how to safeguard its stability. That objective is in the interests of the United Kingdom, but it is true to say that at some stage there needs to be a sensible, grown-up conversation between all members of the EU to work out the right architecture for a future Europe in which some will be members of the single currency and others will remain outside it.