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1992 - PMQT Written Answers 23rd January 1992

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 23rd January 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

Engagements

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 23 January.

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.


Honours

Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Prime Minister if he has any proposals to review the present honours system; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I have no immediate plans to do so.


EC Heads of State

Mr. John Browne : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement as to the effect of the Maastricht agreement and the Single European Act upon the powers, role and future of the Crown and the heads of state of other European Community members.

The Prime Minister : The powers, role and future of the Crown remain unaffected by the Single European Act and the treaty on European union agreed at Maastricht. The position of heads of state of other member states of the Community depends on their respective constitutional arrangements.


Farmland

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Prime Minister whether he has any specific plans to reduce the protection to farmland currently in operation through the planning system; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : New planning policy guidance was set out on 22 January at columns 203-4 in a reply from my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Planning to my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter). This affirms the Government's commitment to protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land. Planning authorities should also weigh environmental considerations, including any special designation of the area, and economic factors, including the need for diversification to provide wider employment opportunities in rural areas, in preparing development plans and deciding planning applications.


Legislation (Repeal)

Mr. Tebbit : To ask the Prime Minister under which sections of the treaty of Rome, as amended by the Maastricht agreement, the powers of Parliament to repeal legislation enacted by its predecessors are curtailed.

The Prime Minister : The powers of Parliament to repeal legislation enacted by its predecessors are not curtailed by the treaty of Rome, either in its present form or as amended by the treaty on European union agreed at the Maastricht European Council.