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German Unification

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made towards a successful outcome of the German unification process.

Progress so far is satisfactory. We look forward to the next ministerial meeting in Paris on 17 July, when the Poles will attend for a discussion of their border issue.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. The unification of Germany is one of the most important and symbolic events in Europe since the war. Does not the integration of the GDR into the EC and NATO lead the way for the eventual integration of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland into the European structure?

That should be our objective—in the first instance, by means of association agreements with the Community. I should be among those who would welcome applications from those countries for full membership when they are ready for it, which will undoubtedly be in only a few years' time.

Will the Minister make it clear that the Government oppose this German super-power expanding its boundaries by various political means, including through the common market? Is not it obvious that within Germany there is a claim that the boundary should be extended towards Poland, and that the Polish people have to be reassured? Will the Minister give an assurance on that today?

The hon. Gentleman is a little confused. The chambers of the Parliaments of the Federal Republic and the GDR have already passed clear and explicit motions saying that they have no further claim to change the boundary of Poland. The Poles will be discussing that in the two plus four talks next week and the whole matter will eventually carry forward into a formal treaty in due course.