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Council Of Ministers

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on (1) how many occasions since May 1997 the Department's vote in the Council of Ministers against a legislative proposal (a) was and (b) was not sufficient to achieve with other member states a blocking minority; [117208]

(2) on how many occasions since May 1997 the Department abstained in the Council of Ministers on a legislative proposal which was passed by qualified majority voting; [117223]

(3) on how many occasions since May 1997 the Department has been outvoted by qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers; and if she will list the legislation by year; [117247]

(4) on how many occasions since May 1997 the Department indicated dissent from a proposal in the Council of Ministers but did not register a vote or abstention. [117260]

It is not possible to identify these occasions when a blocking minority has been assembled against a proposal in the Council of Ministers; it is agreement that triggers the recording of a vote. For the same reason it is not possible to identify these occasions when the UK indicated dissent without abstaining or voting against the proposal.It is good practice for the UK to work closely with the other member states and the Commission to influence and have our views taken into account prior to any vote at the Council of Ministers.