asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what effect the accession of Spain and Portugal will have on decisions taken by the Council of Ministers by qualified majority.
Spain and Portugal will participate in any voting in the Council in accordance with the rules laid down in the treaties. The accession treaty, which will be laid before the House, will set out the number of votes on the basis of the relative sizes of the acceding states. The intention is that article 148 of the treaty will be amended to give eight votes to Spain and five to Portugal, raising the number of votes in the Council from 63 to 76. The qualified majority will go from 45 to 54.