Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr Lidington: If there is one thing that does not change, it is the nature of the hon. Gentleman’s interventions on this subject. The Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Business Secretary and I have spoken frequently on the agenda on competitiveness, and I would be happy to send the hon. Gentleman a sheaf of speeches if he would like me to. Broadly, this is about three things. It is about cutting the cost of unnecessary red tape and regulation on all businesses, particularly on small and medium-sized enterprises. It is about deepening the single market, particularly in digital and in services, where it is underdeveloped at the moment. And it is about forging ambitious new trade agreements with other countries and other regions of the world, for their benefit and ours. These are the opportunities that British business has urged us to take, and this Government are determined not to follow but to lead on these matters in the European debate.

    Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend avoid using up his limited bargaining power to obtain purely symbolic changes such as removing the words “ever closer union”, given that they have never been invoked by the European Court against Britain or used to require any other member state to move in an integrationist direction? They have even been dropped from the constitutional treaty. Will he instead focus on getting back any powers that are not required to run a common trading area, so that we in this Parliament can make more of our own laws and hold our lawmakers to account?