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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 16th July 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 16th July 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

National Debt

10. Mr. Wilson: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on trends in the level of national debt since 1990.

The Prime Minister: There are a number of different measures of public debt. On the measure used for the European Union excessive deficits procedure, the general Government gross debt--GGGD/GDP--ratio remains lower than any other EU member state apart from Luxembourg and France.

Since 1991, the GGGD/GDP ratio has averaged 44 per cent. Under the last Labour Government, the GGGD/GDP ratio averaged 62 per cent.


European Court of Justice

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister what assessments he has made of the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages to the United Kingdom of the European Court of Justice.

The Prime Minister: The advantages and disadvantages to the United Kingdom of the European Court of Justice were set out in the White Paper, "A Partnership of Nations".


Engagements

Sir Peter Tapsell: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 16 July.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 16 July.

The Prime Minister: This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I shall be having further meetings later today.


Berlin Bombing 1986

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) of 24 June, Official Report, column 14, what discussions Her Majesty's Government have had with (a) the German, (b) the Lebanese and (c) the United States authorities about the activities of Yassar al-Shuraidi alias Yousef-Salam; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: We have had occasional contact with the German and United States' authorities about the activities of Yassar al-Shuraidi alias Yousef Salam, but not with the Lebanese authorities, with whom there is no reason to do so.

Bilateral discussions are conducted on the basis of confidence and trust between interlocutors. The substance of such discussions cannot be made public.