EC Budget

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th March 1987.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Howe Mr Geoffrey Howe , East Surrey 12:00 am, 18th March 1987

I acknowledge with gratitude the tribute from my hon. Friend. He is right to remind the House of the continuing problems of securing effective control over the Community budget. He will know that our position with regard to any possible increase in resources rests absolutely on the Fontainebleau agreement, which provides that the maximum rate may be increased to 1·6 per cent. on 1 January next year, by unanimous decision of the Council and after agreement by national Parliaments. I emphasise the word may, not shall. We stand by the letter of that agreement. We see no case for going beyond it. We intend to achieve control over the budget that is as effective as my hon. Friend would like.