Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on the European Community on 15th October 1990.
Mr. Spearing To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement concerning Councils of Finance Ministers of the European Communities, both formal and informal, he has attended since 1 September.
Mr. Major Members of the Economic and Finance Council met informally on 7 and 8 September in Rome and formally in Luxembourg on 8 October. On both occasions I represented the United Kingdom with the assistance of the Financial Secretary at the October meeting.
The September meeting concentrated on a discussion of economic and monetary union during which I gave a full explanation of the British proposals for a gradual evolutionary approach through the establishment of a common currency, known as the "hard ecu", and a European monetary fund. A majority of member states shared our view that much greater economic convergence in the Community was a necessary condition for further monetary integration, and that it was therefore undesirable to set a premature date for moving beyond stage one of EMU. I stressed the importance of ensuring that all member states could move forward together. I explained that our proposals would allow for that while providing a strong anti-
The consequences of the Gulf crisis were also discussed and the Commission put forward proposals for aid to those front-
At the October meeting, the entry of the United Kingdom into the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system was widely welcomed. Economic and monetary union was again discussed both during the Council and at an inter-
There was a brief discussion of the Commission's proposals for VAT and excise systems after 1992 and for raising travellers' allowances on duty-