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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 13th December 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 13th December 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

European Union

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government in respect of the admission of states in the Visegrad group into the European Union; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The Copenhagen European Council agreed in June that the Central European associate countries – including the four states in the Visegrad group – should be admitted to the European Union, if they so wished, as soon as they are ready to take on the obligations of membership. The Government had worked hard to achieve this outcome, and warmly welcomed it.

The associate countries are now beginning to prepare themselves, economically and politically. The United Kingdom is helping this process both bilaterally and through the European Union.


Honours System

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the progress of his proposals for the honours system announced on 4 March.

The Prime Minister : The changes to the honours system outlined in my statement to the House on 4 March have been put into effect. I plan to report to the House shortly on the review of the numbers and distribution of honours.


Northern Ireland (Investment)

Lady Olga Maitland : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the companies from other EC countries which have brought inward investment into Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the last 10 years.

The Prime Minister : According to records maintained by the Department of Trade and Industry's Invest in Britain Bureau, 879 EC-owned companies have set up in the United Kingdom in the last 10 years. These figures are based on information provided by the companies at the time of the announcement to invest. There is no requirement to notify the Department, and so the figures include only those projects where the Invest in Britain Bureau and its regional partners were involved, or which have come to their notice. They take no account of subsequent developments. At the request of the companies concerned, some names are commercially confidential, and cannot be quoted. However, a list of quotable companies has been placed in the Library of the House.


Cash Limits

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Prime Minister what will be the cash limit on the cost of running his office in 1994-95.

The Prime Minister : Financial provision for the running of my Office in 1994-95 is subject to the budgetary planning arrangements operated jointly by the Cabinet Office and Office of Public Service and Science. Internal allocation of the 1993 survey settlement is not yet complete. Provision is expected to be similar to that for the current financial year.


Special Advisers

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister what information ministerial special advisers who resign or retire are required to provide concerning their subsequent employment; and to whom.

The Prime Minister : None.


NATO

Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Prime Minister if it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to support the admission of states in the Visegrad group into membership of NATO; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : We and our NATO allies have repeatedly stated that NATO is not a closed shop. We do not therefore rule out the possibility of new members at some time in the future. But the question of NATO enlargement is a complex one. Our overriding objective in considering it must be to enhance security and stability across the whole of Europe, while at the same time ensuring that we do not create new divisions or erect new barriers.


Morality

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Prime Minister which of Her Majesty's Government's policies since 1979 have attempted to influence moral behaviour; and what assessment he has made of each of those policies.

The Prime Minister : Policies are designed to influence moral behaviour where it is in the national interest that they should do so. Our policies on law and order are perhaps the most obvious example.


No. 10 Downing Street

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister how much has been spent on decorating and furnishing No. 10 Downing Street since November 1990.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 30 November 1993] : Figures are available only on a financial year basis. The expenditure on new works, furniture and fittings in the state rooms, on the catering facilities, and in the offices and other rooms in 10 Downing Street from April 1991 to March 1993 was £292,000.