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1991 - PMQT Written Answers 20th June 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 20th June 1991.


PRIME MINISTER:

Bananas

Mr. John P. Smith : To ask the Prime Minister;

(1) if he has received any representations about the absence of a decision by the European Council of Ministers on trade arrangements for bananas after 1992; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will seek an agreement with his European counterparts at the Luxembourg summit on trade arrangements for bananas after 1992 which guarantees the price and existing access of eastern Caribbean bananas;

(3) what steps he intends to take to honour the commitment made in 1987 to guarantee the supply of eastern Caribbean bananas to the United Kingdom after 1992;

(4) if he will raise the question of the European Commission's delay in reaching decisions on the Banana protocol under the Lome convention at the forthcoming Luxembourg summit.


The Prime Minister : The European Commission is considering arrangements to apply to bananas in the single European market post-1992. The Government will seek to ensure that new arrangements fulfil our commitments to Commonwealth Caribbean suppliers. We shall also take account of consumers interests, the need for budgetary restraint, trade policy considerations and the competition and efficiency objectives of the single market initiative. I have discussed the issue with the Prime Ministers of Dominica and Jamaica and am very alive to their economic needs.

Officials are in touch with the Commission, who are aware of the need to make proposals as soon as possible. In the absence of these proposals it would be premature to raise the issue at the Luxembourg European Council.


Council of Europe

Mr. Ward : To ask the Prime Minister if he has made any changes to the composition of the United Kingdom delegation to the 43rd session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The Prime Minister : I have appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Atkinson) from the Government Benches to be a representative on the delegation to the 43rd session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in succession to my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Morris). I have also appointed my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, West (Sir A. Durant) as a substitute delegate.