9 JULY 1977, Page 18

Democracy and Europe

Sir: Ian Davidson, in last week's article on Labour and the Common Market, refers to my assertion that electing a European Assembly does not necessarily make it democratic, but he fails to explain the argument which supports the assertion.

The argument is as follows. Democracy requires not just the mechanism of elections but also a recognition on the part of those represented that they share such a community of interest as to leave them content to have matters of fundamental importance to themselves decided by a majority of which they may not be a part. It cannot, in my view, be argued that this essential pre-condition is met so far as the British people and a European Assembly are concerned.

Ian Davidson is also quite wrong to suggest that those who oppose Euro-elections have no interest in strengthening the control of the House of Commons over decisions made in Brussels. The opposite is true. Unfortunately, my colleagues and I have never been able to persuade some of our pro-Market friends to support the necessary reforms, not because they are insufficiently democratic, but because they are insufficiently federalist.

Bryan Gould, MP House of Commons London SW1