Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde) (Lab/Co-op): If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 10 December.

    The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Nick Clegg): I have been asked to reply on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who is visiting Turkey and Auschwitz.

    This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in the House, I shall have further such meetings later today.

    Jonathan Reynolds: Last week, the Deputy Prime Minister refused to attend the autumn statement. Exactly which parts of the statement did he most object to?

    The Deputy Prime Minister: The autumn statement was a coalition autumn statement. I spent one day in Cornwall; Opposition Members have spent five years in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to the economy, and the Government side of the House has been clearing up the mess they created.

    Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): In the light of my right hon. Friend’s enthusiasm for devolving powers from the UK Government to the component parts of the UK, does he have similar plans for devolving competences from Europe to the UK?

    The Deputy Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman might be surprised to know that I once wrote a booklet about that very idea. Just as we must do at a European level what nation states cannot do on their own—on the environment, globalisation, trade talks and so on—so other powers should be devolved downwards where possible.