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Single Market

Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

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31.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new initiatives to assist British industry to prepare for 1992.

48.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new initiatives to assist British industry to prepare for 1992.

59.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new initiatives to assist British industry to prepare for 1992.

71.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any new initiatives to assist British industry to prepare for 1992.

My Department's "Europe Open for Business" campaign provides the most comprehensive information service available to business anywhere in the Community, including a 24-hour telephone hotline, and extensive written and audio-visual material. This is constantly updated and expanded to take account of developments in Brussels. We also encourage business to take advantage of the growing range of specialist help and advice available from private sector sources.

125.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement regarding the deficit in the balance of payments and on the competitiveness of British industry for the single European market.

The main reason for the balance of payments deficit has been the rapid growth in both investment and consumption in the United Kingdom. The strong growth in investment will in time produce additional capacity and enable industry to meet more of the demands placed on it. In the meantime it has been necessary to tighten monetary policy to encourage additional spending and to slow down the growth of spending. There are a number of indications that the tightening is having a significant impact.The improved competitiveness of the United Kingdom since the 1970s can be seen in the fact that since 1980 manufacturing productivity growth in the United Kingdom has been faster than in all other major industrialised countries and since 1983 we have maintained our share of the value of world trade in manufactures after decades of decline. Further progress in liberalising financial services in Europe should help our internationally famous financial services sector gain further access to the EEC market.

97.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on merger and monopoly policy in the light of the single European market in 1992.

The Government believe that improvement to the rules by which the European Commission examines mergers and the reduction or elimination of barriers to takeover throughout the Community are both essential aspects of the single European market programme. At the December Internal Market Council, major breakthroughs were achieved in both areas. The Council adopted the merger control regulation, which sets out Community powers to regulate large mergers with a Community dimension. The regulation will come into force in September 1990. In addition, the Commission proposed—and the Council accepted its proposal—to bring forward an action plan to tackle barriers to takeover by March 1990, which should help level the playing field for takeovers in the Community. Both developments are beneficial to United Kingdom industry and commerce, and an important step towards the completion of the single market.