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Eu Council Of Ministers

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 12 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what circumstances it is the practice to permit officials to deputise for Ministers in meetings of the Council of Ministers of the European Union; and if he will list those Council meetings since 1 May when officials represented their Ministers, naming the Minister in each instance. [15611]

Representation by a senior official on occasions when a Minister is unable to be present for all or part of a Council meeting is normal practice for all member states. British Ministers have attended every Council meeting since 1 May, with the exception of the Consumer Affairs Council on 3 November when my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Griffiths) was prevented by fog from reaching Brussels.