HC Deb 29 October 1975 vol 898 c1590
44. Mr. Arnold

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he is satisfied with the progress being made towards a further enlargement of the European Community by the admission of Greece.

Mr. James Callaghan

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Arnold

Will the Secretary of State confirm that the attitude of Her Majesty's Government will be in no way prejudiced towards these negotiations by continuing opposition inside Greece to certain aspects of the newly promulgated Greek constitution?

Mr. Callaghan

No, Sir, I do not think we are involved in the internal situation there. We welcomed Greece's application when it was made, and the Prime Minister confirmed our unreserved support to Mr. Karamanlis when he visited London earlier this month.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that all parties in Greece, both Government and Opposition, are united in their anxiety and desire for Greece to become a full member of the EEC at the earliest opportunity? Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that we in Britain are not only in favour of the accession of Greece to the EEC but wish to ease Greece's future opportunities by the appropriate transitional arrangements that may be required?

Mr. Callaghan

That is looking rather a long way ahead. A negotiating mandate has first to be prepared and is now under study by the Commission. It will be brought to the Community members in due course—I hope by the end of this year—and then we shall have to see how the negotiations can be conducted.