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1987-1990 - Mr Major’s Parliamentary Answer on the Social Charter

Below is the text of Mr Major's response on the Social Charter held on 30th November 1989 in the House of Commons.


Mr. Andy Stewart To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his assessment of the effect on the United Kingdom's long-term economic performance of the proposed European social charter.

Mr. Gale To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his assessment of the effect on the United Kingdom's long-term economic performance of the proposed European social charter.

Mr. Major Implementation of the proposed social charter in its present form would have a harmful effect on economic performance. It would raise costs and cost jobs.

Mr. Stewart Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is ludicrous for the EEC to try to introduce laws to govern a wide variety of our small business sector?

Mr. Major I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. I suggest to our colleagues in Europe that the principle of subsidiarity would serve us much better than the proposed social charter.

Mr. Gale Further to that answer, what would be the effect on the United Kingdom's economy of a 35-hour working week?

Mr. Major I scarcely think that an immediate 35-hour week would be helpful for the economy.