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Council of Ministers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — European Community – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1979.

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Photo of Dr David Owen Dr David Owen , Plymouth, Devonport 12:00 am, 17th January 1979

The dispute between the Council and the Assembly would be exactly the same whether or not the Assembly was directly elected. The reason why it was discussed in the Council on Monday was that the British Government, among other member States, hold very strongly to the view that it should not be in the power of the Assembly—and it is not in the power of the Assembly in the treaties—to fix the budget. The budget must be fixed by the body which is responsible for raising the revenue. That body is the Council of Ministers. Therefore, we shall not accept that the fixing of the budget total can be an issue for the Assembly. As long as this issue remains unresolved, we shall remain determined in our stance.