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Brussels

Volume 889: debated on Tuesday 25 March 1975

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Q2.

I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Marten) on 20th March.

Will the Lord President ask this of his right hon. Friend, whether or not he goes to Brussels to find the answer? It would be helpful if he could refer to Brussels the speech wade during the weekend by the Secretary of State for Industry in which he told workers in the Midlands that entry into the EEC under the negotiated terms would render the Government unable to protect jobs in British industry. Does he realise that the people of this country, in making up their minds about the referendum, are seeking hard, clear facts? Will the right hon. Gentleman say, therefore, whether that is a fact and, if so, whether it is the view of the Government? They are not, of course, the same.

Of course that is what the Government intend to provide—hard, clear facts. We shall do so in the White Paper on the renegotiated terms, which is a long and full document and which will be published on Thursday of this week.

Could my right hon. Friend advise the Prime Minister that, since it is a fact that among the absurd behaviour of the Common Market administrators has been the deliberate creation of mountains of butter and beef which are then sold to places outside the Community at knock-down prices, it might be possible, for example, for a place like Lundy Island to be taken out of the Common Market? The mountains of beef and butter could be sent there, purchased by the British Government and sold at knock-down prices to the lower income groups and British old-age pensioners.

Yes, Sir, but the terms which my right hon. Friend negotiated will ensure that that does not happen in future.