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European Council, Stockholm

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:05 pm on 26th March 2001.

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Photo of Baroness Jay of Paddington Baroness Jay of Paddington President of the Council, Privy Council Office 4:05 pm, 26th March 2001

My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend. I fear that, although I had no intention to mislead, what I said earlier may have fallen more into the category of what I suspect that the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, would criticise as aspiration rather than anything else. However, it is true to say that, as I understand, there is no question that the Lamfalussi proposals are inconsistent with the institutional arrangements set out in the treaty. For that reason, the European Parliament may not be in a position of such senior prominence in relation to its further progress as perhaps had been thought in the past. As I am sure my noble friend is aware, it is also true to say that the European Parliament shares the wish to complete the European single market in financial services. That goal has been set to be achieved by the year 2003.

I cannot give my noble friend an exact report on the procedures of independent negotiation between the Commission and the European Parliament, but I understand that the picture is perhaps rather more optimistic than he may feel.