President of the Commission

Oral Answers to Questions — European Community – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 1978.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to meet the President of the European Economic Community Commission.

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

My right hon. Friend is due to meet the President of the EEC Commission at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 4th April.

Photo of Mr Douglas Crawford Mr Douglas Crawford , Perth and East Perthshire

Will the Minister remind the President of the EEC that Shetland voted against remaining in the Community? As this House seems to give priority to the rights of Shetland, when does he intend to table a Bill to enable Shetland to come out of the Common Market?

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

That is not primarily for the Foreign Office.

Photo of Mr Nigel Spearing Mr Nigel Spearing , Newham South

When he meets the President, will my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary point out that there have been a number of occasions on which hon. Members in this House have objected strongly to senseless measures of harmonisation proposed by the Commission? May I point out to him that many of the much larger measures of harmonisation are against the Government's views about the powers of national Governments and of this House? Does he agree that measures of this kind are a waste of time and that the Commission would be better employed on more constructive proposals?

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

We are against the concept of harmonisation for harmonisation's sake, because that can develop into a bureaucrats' picnic. The governing criterion on harmonisation is whether it results in policies that are more in the interests of the British people and those of other member States.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Havant and Waterloo

When the Minister next meets the President, will he draw his attention to an article in today's edition of The Times about the state of affairs in Addis Abbaba, and suggest to him that the most destabilising effects there are a combination of Kalashnikovs, Karl Marx and barbarism? Will he impress upon the President that this should be taken into account by the Community when formulating its policy on Africa?

Photo of Mr Frank Judd Mr Frank Judd , Portsmouth North

The President reads The Times regularly. I am sure that he will come to his own conclusions.