WELL UNDER half the House of Commons supported the Bill to ratify the Maastricht treaty on its Third Reading last night.
The Government won comfortably - by 292 votes to 112 - largely because many Labour MPs obeyed their party's order to abstain. Nevertheless, the result reflected the deep divisions on both Government and Opposition benches that have dogged the tortuous progress of the European Communities (Amendment) Bill.
Meanwhile, the revolt among anti-Maastricht Tory MPs saw 41 defy their whips, the biggest revolt on the Bill. They would have viewed their stance as partially justified by the fact that Norman Lamont, the Chancellor, left open the possibility of re-entering the European exchange rate mechanism when he closed last night's debate.
Mr Lamont suggested re-entry might be possible after two years, saying it was impossible to predict how long it would take the German economy to adjust to re-unification - 'two years, three years or longer. Until it does it would not be appropriate for us to contemplate re-joining the ERM and it would not be in our interest and the Government would not do it'.
That fails to meet Tory rebels' demands for a pledge not to re-join within the lifetime of this Parliament.
Five Tories abstained.
On the Labour side, 66 MPs voted against the Third Reading, with five voting in favour.
One lone Liberal Democrat out of the party's 21 MPs, Nick Harvey, three Ulster Unionist MPs and the Rev Ian Paisley, of the Democratic Unionist Party, also voted against the Government.
The Conservative MPs who voted against the Bill were:
Rupert Allason (Torbay), Vivian Bendall (Ilford N), John Biffen (Shropshire N), Sir Richard Body (Holland with Boston), Sir Nicholas Bonsor (Upminster), Sir Rhodes Boyson (Brent N), Nicholas Budgen (Wolverhampton SW), John Butcher (Coventry SW), John Carlisle (Luton N), Michael Carttiss (Great Yarmouth), William Cash (Stafford), James Cran (Beverley), Iain Duncan-Smith (Chingford), Peter Fry (Wellingborough), Sir George Gardiner (Reigate), Christopher Gill (Ludlow), Teresa Gorman (Billericay), Harry Greenway (Ealing N), Warren Hawksley (Halesowen and Stourbridge), Bernard Jenkin (Colchester N), Toby Jessel (Twickenham), Roger Knapman (Stroud), Barry Legg (Milton Keynes SW), Michael Lord (Suffolk Central), Tony Marlow (Northampton N), Sir Roger Moate (Faversham), James Pawsey (Rugby and Kenilworth), David Porter (Waveney), Andrew Robathan (Blaby), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills), Sir Trevor Skeet (Bedfordshire N), Michael Spicer (Worcestershire S), Walter Sweeney (Vale of Glamorgan), Sir Peter Tapsell (Lindsey E), Sir Teddy Taylor (Southend E), John Townend (Bridlington), Bill Walker (Tayside N), John Whittingdale (Colchester S and Maldon), John Wilkinson (Ruislip Northwood), Ann Winterton (Congleton), Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield).
The Labour MPs who voted against were:
Diane Abbott (Hackney N and Stoke Newington), Irene Adams (Paisley N), John Austin-Walker (Woolwich), Harry Barnes (Derbyshire NE), Tony Benn (Chesterfield), Andrew Bennett (Denton and Reddish), Roger Berry (Kingswood), Jimmy Boyce (Rotherham), Jim Callaghan (Heywood and Middleton), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Dennis Canavan (Falkirk W), Jamie Cann (Ipswich), Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh Leith), Michael Clapham (Barnsley W and Penistone), Michael Connarty (Falkirk E), Jeremy Corbyn (Islington N), Jean Corston (Bristol E), Bob Cryer (Bradford S), Ian Davidson (Glasgow Govan), Denzil Davies (Llanelli), Terry Davis (Birmingham Hodge Hill), Brian Donohoe (Cunninghame S), Gwyneth Dunwoody (Crewe and Nantwich), William Etherington (Sunderland N), Frank Field (Birkenhead), Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow), Dr Norman Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow), Mildred Gordon (Bow and Poplar), Bryan Gould (Dagenham), Peter Hain (Neath), Mike Hall (Warrington S), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), George Howarth (Knowsley N), Kevin Hughes (Doncaster N), Roy Hughes (Newport E), Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak), Tessa Jowell (Dulwich), Terry Lewis (Worsley), Robert Litherland (Manchester Central), Ken Livingstone (Brent E), John McAllion (Dundee E), William McKelvey (Kilmarnock and Loudoun), John McWilliam (Blaydon), Max Madden (Bradford W), David Marshall (Glasgow Shettleston), Jim Marshall (Leicester S), Bill Michie (Sheffield Heeley), Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby), George Mudie (Leeds E), Bill Olner (Nuneaton), Robert Parry (Liverpool Riverside), Colin Pickthall (Lancashire W), Greg Pope (Hyndburn), Bridget Prentice (Lewisham E), Gordon Prentice (Pendle), Martin Redmond (Don Valley), Jo Richardson (Barking), Ted Rowlands (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Peter Shore (Bethnal Green and Stepney), Alan Simpson (Nottingham S), Dennis Skinner (Bolsover), Llewellyn Smith (Blaneau Gwent), George Stevenson (Stoke S), Mike Watson (Glasgow Central), Alan J Williams (Swansea W), David Winnick (Walsall N), Audrey Wise (Preston).
Labour MPs who voted for the Bill's Third Reading were:
Andrew Faulds (Warley E), John Home Robertson (East Lothian), Calum MacDonald (Western Isles), Giles Radice (Durham N), Brian Sedgemore (Hackney S and Shoreditch).
In our 21 May issue, Tessa Jowell, Labour MP for Dulwich, was mistakenly included in the list of MPs who voted against the Third Reading of the European Communities (Amendment) Bill. Ms Jowell abstained, and we apologise for any confusion caused.