Soviet Union (Prime Minister's Visit)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 2nd April 1987.

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Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:32 pm, 2nd April 1987

Mr. Gorbachev came in 1984 at the invitation of the British Government—[HON. MEMBERS: "The IPU."]—rather, the IPU, and I had five hours of talks with him at Chequers. That was long before he held his present position, and it established the basis of a relationship which has enabled us to talk openly further. The right hon. Gentleman has perhaps not yet fully realised the enormity of the change that Mr. Gorbachev is trying to bring about in Soviet politics. That movement to greater openness and an incentive economy is making it an important time both to have closer contacts and to achieve from the Soviet Union's higher regard for the Helsinki accords and from more visits much closer trust and confidence which are necessary for further arms control agreements.