Package Travel

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:22 am on 18th December 1989.

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Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth , Mid Worcestershire 1:22 am, 18th December 1989

I never got to Acapulco. At the time that I might have been there I was in Brussels representing Her Majesty's Government and our people to the best of my ability in the Council of Ministers.

Although I have often praised the British holiday industry, I am not blind to its faults. There may be a place for a directive of the kind under consideration now so that perceived loopholes either in our law or in the more general provisions relating to the holiday industry can be filled in. I do not agree with the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South when he talks about a crisis of confidence. I share his praise, however, for the ABTA code of practice, which has been updated and improved. That code takes our industry a stage further and the latest code provides standards in most respects superior to those provided by the directive.

The hon. Gentleman was busy criticising me for single-handedly removing most of the directive's effective provisions. He appeared to forget that I sit in solemn conclave with representatives from 11 other member states when I consider such things. I must reach agreement with them. Whether the directive has been watered down, strengthened or whatever is the result of what 12 Ministers from 12 different member states have been able to agree.