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European Community (Defence Matters)

Volume 984: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1980

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asked the Prime Minister whether, in the light of developments in Iran and Afghanistan, she considers that the Treaty of Rome should be amended to permit regular discussion of defence matters by European Economic Community Ministers and the European Parliament.

I do not think Treaty amendments of the sort suggested would be either necessary or desirable. Our defence is based on NATO to which we are fully committed.Under its own rules of procedure the European Parliament can and does discuss matters outside the direct responsibility of the European committees, including defence. Defence is, of course, discussed by Members of Parliament in the Assembly of the Western European Union and in the North Atlantic Assembly.