Turkey: EU Accession

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th June 2016.

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Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they support Turkey joining the EU, and what pre-conditions they believe should attach to such admission.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

The Government supports the process of Turkey’s EU accession, which remains the most effective means of encouraging reform, stability and democracy in Turkey. But as the Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), has made it clear that the question of Turkey actually joining the EU is ‘not remotely on the cards’, indeed that he does not believe it will happen ‘for decades’. Every Member State has a veto, at every stage of the process.

Turkey would need to undergo substantial reform before we could consider Turkish accession to the EU, particularly in terms of rule of law, freedom of speech, and socio-economic convergence with EU standards. Furthermore, the Government will not agree to any further EU enlargement without new arrangements for transitional controls on freedom of movement. We do not want to take the risk, as we did in 2004, of very large movements of people after a new accession. Under the European Union Act 2011, any new Accession Treaty would require parliamentary approval by primary legislation before it could be ratified.

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