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Product Liability

Volume 81: debated on Wednesday 19 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what position has been reached in negotiations over the formulation of a European Economic Community directive on product liability; what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards this matter; and if he will make a statement.

Discussions are currently taking place between experts to resolve certain remaining points of detail on the draft directive; we hope that these points will be resolved quickly and that we will be in a position to adopt the directive soon. We are in favour of this directive and, in the interests of making progress on a subject which has been under discussion in Brussels for nearly 10 years, we are negotiating constructively on the proposed compromise solution.This compromise solution is for a directive which introduces the concept of strict liability for defective products throughout the Community, with a development risks defence but no financial limit. Individual member states would be permitted to derogate on both these last points (subject to certain limitations), and there would be a review after a transitional period to assess the effects of these derogations.