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Ec Internal Market

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further contribution his Department is making to increase awareness by business of the opportunities offered by the completion of the EC internal market by 1992.

We have launched a major campaign to bring to the attention of industry, business and the public the opportunities and challenges of the single European market. All Departments are involved in this campaign, which will include a major conference in London on 18 April, followed by regional briefings throughout the country.

Does my hon. Friend agree that 1992 is a year of massive opportunities for British industry, and that the tragedy at the moment is that while French and German industry are well aware of the opportunities facing them, British industry is not? Does she also agree that if we do not get a move on, there is a real risk of British industry once again being taken to the cleaners by the French?

That is the very reason why the Government have just launched this major awareness campaign. We need to tell businesses of all sizes, throughout the country, exactly what opportunities lie ahead for them in the single market. That is why Ministers and, I hope, all hon. Members, will explain, as I am doing, from St. Ives to Manchester and to the far north of Scotland, just what the opportunities are. I am sure that my hon. Friend will join that important campaign for the future of British industry and for increased exports from this country.