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Eu Social Chapter

Volume 301: debated on Friday 21 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Social Chapter will come into force in the United Kingdom. [16965]

[holding answer of 20 November 1997]:The provisions of the Agreement on Social Policy will be incorporated into the EC Treaty by the Amsterdam Treaty. They will thus enter into force in the UK when the Amsterdam Treaty enters into force. This will happen once the Treaty is ratified by all Member States.

In the meantime, it was agreed at Amsterdam that the UK could take part in discussions under the Social Agreement and that our views would be taken into account. This is already happening.

Separately, legislation under the Social Chapter will be extended to the UK by new directives under Article 100. We have undertaken to implement the two existing directives within two years of their formal application to the UK.