Skip to main content


Volume 268: debated on Monday 11 December 1995

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


To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement about his tour of European capitals to discuss deregulation. [3301]

My discussions with other European Union partners have shown that both Ministers and business leaders recognise the need to lift the burden of European regulation on our businesses. My call for urgent action received strong support in the Internal Market Council on 23 November.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that what matters with any regulation regime is equity across the single market? Will he confirm that Britain will never be put at a competitive disadvantage in the way in which regulations are implemented across the European Union?

It is certainly the intention of Her Majesty's Government to ensure that where—sometimes by qualified majority voting—a directive is agreed, it is applied uniformly throughout all member states of the Union.

Will the Minister now answer the question of his hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Duncan)? Did he or his right hon. Friend tour foreign capitals, at public expense, to flog this dogma? If so, how much did it cost? Why did those who were interested not come here at their own expense?

Unlike the Labour party, the Government take the issue of deregulation very seriously. I visited eight European capitals, and I propose to visit six more. I am very pleased that the results of those visits were so successful.