Political Co-operation

Oral Answers to Questions — European Community – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th November 1975.

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Photo of Mr George Gardiner Mr George Gardiner , Reigate and Banstead 12:00 am, 26th November 1975

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to promote closer political co-operation between the members of the EEC.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

Political co-operation is working well. We see no need for specific steps to improve it, but Her Majesty's Government, with the rest of the Nine, are always seeking opportunities to develop its scope and effectiveness.

Photo of Mr George Gardiner Mr George Gardiner , Reigate and Banstead

The Minister will no doubt agree that an encouraging recent development in this respect is the emergence of a common EEC line towards Portugal. In the light of what he has just said, can he assure us that members of the Government will do all that they can to ensure that other members of the EEC take a joint, constructive and realistic approach to helping the people of Spain in the new period of their history that is opening?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

Our attitude towards Spain, the people of Spain and the Government of that country is limited by the Treaty of Rome, which provides that membership of the Community is limited to those countries that are in Europe and have a genuinely democratic Government. If that happy situation comes about in Spain, I am sure that we shall look to Spain with the greatest of friendship.