Skip to main content

European Community

Volume 172: debated on Tuesday 15 May 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the evidence on which he based the statements on the second page of his Department's pamphlet entitled, "Britain in the Community: Europe in the 1990s" (a) that goods and services will become more freely available and (b) it will become easier to move bank accounts from the United Kingdom to other European countries.

The single market programme includes a large number of measures to improve the availability of goods and services in the EC: for example, the removal of internal customs barriers; liberalisation of transport; and setting of common standards. The capital liberalisation directive agreed in 1988 requires most member states to lift restrictions on capital movements by 1 July 1990, thus facilitating capital flows in the EC.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) legislative and (b) other measures which have secured the policy objectives set out on the ninth page of his Department's pamphlet entitled, "Britain in the Community: Europe in the 1990s".

Twelve White Paper measures have so far been agreed to open up the banking, insurance and stock market sectors; nine more are being discussed; and one is still to be brought forward. Closer co-ordination of member states' economic policies was agreed by the Council decision of 12 March 1990. And state subsidies to industry have been reduced by stringent application of articles 92 and 93 on state aids.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was (a) the total actual expenditure of the EEC and (b) the net United Kingdom contribution in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1989; what is the estimate for 1990; and how these figures relate to the statements made in the first, second and third paragraphs on the eighth page of his Department's pamphlet entitled, "Britain in the Community: Europe in the 1990s".

The table provides the relevant figures. Budgets since the 1988 Brussels European Council have stayed well within the GNP own resources ceiling established then. Community GNP has grown significantly.

Total EC expenditureUnited Kingdom net contribution
£ million£ million
198622,953572
198724,8941,721
198827,4261,362
198930,1232,315
1199033,3552,175
1 Estimate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will give the figures on which he bases the statement on the eighth page of his Department's pamphlet entitled, "Britain in the Community: Europe in the 1990s", that beef stocks are down by 80 per cent. and cereals by 55 per cent.; and if he will list the specific measures of budgetary control which have brought about these reductions.

In February 1990, beef stocks were 125,000 tonnes (a reduction of 82·4 per cent. from their highest level, in September 1985, of 711,000 tonnes); and cereals stocks 8,121,000 tonnes (a reduction of 55·4 per cent. from their highest level, in October 1985, of 18,193,000 tonnes).

Specific budgetary control measures include: reducing the number of months when intervention is available; cutting intervention prices; imposing ceilings on production for which support is available; producer taxes ("co-responsibility levies").

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will set out the evidence on which he based the statement on the fourth page of his Department's pamphlet, "Britain in the Community: Europe in the 1990s", that minimisation of immigration checks is a major objective of the Community; and if he will list the checks which it is proposed to remove.

The statement in the pamphlet "Britain in the Community" about ease of travel in the Community directly reflects articles 3(c) and 8(a) of the treaty of Rome, which specifically call for the abolition of obstacles to freedom of movement for persons, and provide that the internal market shall include such free movement of persons in accordance with the provisions of the treaty. My right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for the Home Department explained our position in full during the debate on intra-Community frontiers on 4 May 1989.