asked the Prime Minister if she is now in a position to publish the European Commission's reasons for rejecting the Leeward Islands Air Transport view that the Super 748 offer from British Aerospace best fulfilled the procurement criteria of the Lomé convention; if she has had further communication with the European Commission on this matter; whether she has had any recent representations from Leeward Islands Air Transport; and if she will make a statement.
My right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development published the European Commission's explanation in an answer given to the hon. Member for Eccles (Mr. Carter-Jones) on 26 February, at column 102. The European Commission is not involved with present arrangements to finance the purchase by the Leeward Islands Air Transport of four HS-Super 748 aircraft from British Aerospace; we have had no recent communication with it on this matter, and no representations from Leeward Islands Air Transport. Satisfactory arrangements have now been made for the package of two HS-Super 748 aircraft with finance provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, and LIAT has accepted Her Majesty's Government's offer of assistance from the aid and trade provision for a further two aircraft.