HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc1478-9
9. Mr. Hoyle

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Ministry of Defence contracts have been advertised in the EEC Official Journal since the EEC directive 72/62/EEC came into force on 1st July 1978; and how many have been awarded outside the United Kingdom.

Dr. Gilbert

Fifty-eight and five respectively.

Mr. Hoyle

Does my right hon. Friend agree that it can be damaging to our textile industry when contracts are lost in this way? Would it not be far better, since other EEC members are not complying with the directive, for us to cease advertising until everybody comes into line?

Dr. Gilbert

I agree with my hon. Friend about the effect on certain British industries. I cannot accept that the remedy is for us to break the rules. As my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary said as recently as November, the present situation is thoroughly unsatisfactory. The Government are urging the Commissioners to prepare immediate remedial measures. If necessary we shall press our case in the Council or even take legal action.

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