Cyprus

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 2:18 pm on 3rd May 1995.

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Photo of Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes , Wimbledon 2:18 pm, 3rd May 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in relation to the application of Cyprus to join the European Union. [20436]

Photo of David Davis David Davis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The 6 March Foreign Affairs Council outlined the circumstances in which negotiations with Cyprus will start six months after the intergovernmental conference.

Photo of Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes , Wimbledon

I do not wish to make a delicate situation more delicate, but does my hon. Friend see any scope in the present circumstances for putting on pressure in certain quarters to ensure that there is an equitable solution to the problem within Cyprus before any application to join the European Union is processed?

Photo of David Davis David Davis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Like our partners in the European Union, we believe that the best sequence is for a settlement in Cyprus to be followed by accession, and we shall make every effort to achieve that. The Foreign Affairs Council agreed that accession should benefit both communities and promote a settlement. We support that, too.

Mr. John D. Taylor:

As membership of the European Union by Cyprus is clearly in practice dependent upon an internal settlement, and as the recent presidential elections in northern Cyprus have resulted in the election of Mr. Denktash on the basis of a policy of support for the United Nations confidence-building measures, what representations will the Government now make to the President of Cyprus to obtain his support for the United Nations confidence-building measures?

Photo of David Davis David Davis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

As I have already said, we shall take every possible measure to advance the process. Of course, the confidence-building measures are a large part of that.

Photo of Mr James Lester Mr James Lester , Broxtowe

Does my hon. Friend agree that, although we all want to see Cyprus within the European Union, it would be a tremendous anomaly—given that the basic principle of the EU is free trade between partners—to suggest that Cyprus should be admitted when the Cypriots do not even trade with one another?

Photo of David Davis David Davis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

My hon. Friend sees exactly why we consider the best sequence to be settlement of the problem, followed by accession.