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1991 - PMQT Written Answers 27th June 1991

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 27th June 1991.


PRIME MINISTER:

Cabinet Advisers

Mr. Peter Bottomley : To ask the Prime Minister how many members of the Cabinet have a special adviser.

The Prime Minister : Seventeen.


Medicinal Products

Dr. Hampson : To ask the Prime Minister what arrangements are made to provide the Department of Trade and Industry with briefing from the Department of Health on the issue of supplementary protection certificates for medicinal products.

The Prime Minister : There is close co-operation and regular contact between the two Departments, to ensure that health care, industrial and intellectual property issues are reflected in the Government's approach to the Commission's proposal.


Farmed Salmon

Sir Russell Johnston : To ask the Prime Minister which Ministry is responsible for negotiating with the European Commission concerning the dumping of farmed salmon.

The Prime Minister : The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department are together representing the current concerns of the United Kingdom's fish farming industry with Norwegian imports to the European Commission. In the event of a formal anti-dumping complaint being made by the industry, the Department of Trade and Industry working in close co-operation with other relevant Departments would represent the United Kingdom interest in Brussels in view of its overall responsibility for anti-dumping matters.


Strategic Arms Reduction

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy on the inclusion of the United Kingdom nuclear deterrent in strategic arms reduction talks with the Soviet Union.

The Prime Minister : The current strategic arms reduction talks are bilateral between the United States and the Soviet Union; British nuclear forces will not therefore be included in the agreement. If United States and Soviet strategic arsenals were further reduced substantially, and if there had been no significant improvements in defensive capabilities, we would consider how best we might contribute to the arms control process in the light of the changed circumstances. But the introduction of Trident in the mid-1990s will provide the minimum capability necessary to maintain an effective independent deterrent into the next century and the reductions in prospect would not reduce our strategic needs.


Indonesian Research Minister

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the outcome of his meeting with the Indonesian Research Minister on 19 June.

The Prime Minister : I met Dr. Habibie, the Indonesian Minister for Research and Technology, on 19 June. We discussed a number of issues including commercial co-operation, particularly in the aerospace sector, and the arrangements for Indonesians to study in Britain.


European Council

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he expects to put to the meeting of the European Council in Luxembourg.

The Prime Minister : I shall make clear the United Kingdom objective of creating an open, liberal and efficient Community. We want to improve foreign policy co-ordination, but the basis of our security in Europe must continue to be the Atlantic alliance. In order to allow European co- operation to prosper, we need a flexible treaty structure distinguishing between Community and intergovernmental activity. We also want the European Council to give fresh impetus to the single market programme. We shall discuss a range of international issues, including the crisis in Yugoslavia.


President Mitterrand

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Prime Minister what matters were discussed during his meeting with President Mitterrand on 24 June.

The Prime Minister : The talks at the annual Anglo-French summit in Dunkirk on 24 June concentrated on the two intergovernmental conferences and the forthcoming Luxembourg European Council; European security and defence questions; and the situation in Iraq. The talks were fruitful and timely. President Mitterrand and I agreed to meet again on 29 July in Calais on the fourth anniversary of the ratification of the channel tunnel treaty.


Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 27 June.

The Prime Minister : This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today. This evening I shall depart for Luxembourg for the European Council meeting tomorrow.