The United Kingdom has strongly supported the development of the European eco-labelling scheme, so I am delighted that the EC regulation is now in place and that arrangements are progressing for launching the scheme towards the end of the year. We shall continue to press the Commission and the other member states to ensure that this timetable is met.
Will the Minister confirm his green credentials by telling us which washing-up liquid he uses? Will he also confirm that some of the other EC states are still dragging their feet in regard to eco-labelling, and that it would have been far better for this country to go ahead on its own?
I shall come clean in a moment.
The hon. Gentleman fails to grasp the point that if we are to make any real environmental progress, we must do so in concert with other nations. We have a free trading area in Europe, where goods and products are moved around the Community. Without a Europewide ecolabelling scheme—which is now within our grasp—that arrangement would not be as effective as it should be.
In answer to the hon. Gentleman's first question, I believe in being a liberated husband and sharing the household duties; unfortunately, however, washing up is not the duty that has been allocated to me.