HC Deb 22 February 1961 vol 635 c492
8. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Lord Privy Seal what negotiations Her Majesty's Government have had with other members of the European Free Trade Association regarding the possibility of individual countries in that group, including the United Kingdom, making separate trade agreements with countries forming the European Economic Community.

Mr. Heath

None, Sir.

Mr. Bellenger

In view of the pressure which is being put on Her Majesty's Government from various quarters to accede to the Rome Treaty, may we take it that any negotiations with the E.E.C. will be conducted by E.F.T.A. and not individually by Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Heath

We have not yet reached the stage of embarking on negotiations. In the exploratory discussions which we have been having with German and Italian officials, and which we are to embark on next week with French officials, it has been made clear that we can speak only for ourselves and that, in considering any arrangement with the Six, the interests of our E.F.T.A. partners must, of course, be safeguarded.