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Commonwealth Summit (Bananas And Sugar)

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with representatives of Commonwealth Governments at Edinburgh concerning (a) the World Trade Organisation judgment on trade in bananas and (b) the consequential effects of such judgment on the Lomé agreement, with particular reference to its protocol concerning sugar. [13390]

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met representatives of Caribbean Commonwealth Governments and discussed, among other things, their concerns about the implications of the World Trade Organisation ruling. He made clear that the UK would work for a new EC banana regime which was consistent with WTO rules and which took account of our obligations under the Lomé convention. He did not discuss the potential effects of the ruling on other preferential effects of the ruling on other preferential trading arrangements provided for under the Lomé convention. The Edinburgh economic declaration notes our support for the legitimate interests of the African Caribbean and Pacific banana producers and our resolve to work for a successor arrangement to the Lomé convention which gives the ACP adequate transitional arrangements.