HC Deb 04 November 1980 vol 991 cc1096-7
1. Mr. Spearing

asked the Prime Minister when she next expects to meet the Heads of Government of the member States of the EEC.

The Prime Minister (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

I expect to meet the Heads of Government of the member States of the Community at the next meeting of the European Council, which will take place in Luxembourg on 1 and 2 December.

Mr. Spearing

Will the Prime Minister assure the House that the informal Heads of Government meeting that she has called the European Council will not on this occasion, or on any other occasion, convert itself into a formal Council of Ministers capable of taking legislative decisions? If any informal decisions are taken, will she confirm that they will be subject to the full scrutiny procedures of the House?

The Prime Minister

We do not usually take that sort of decision at the European Council of Heads of Government. We try to clear the way for decisions by other councils, subject to the legislative procedures and customs of their own legislative assemblies.

Mr. John MacKay

When my right hon. Friend meets the Heads of Government will she urge on them the need for the Economic Community to give every possible help to the new Government of Jamaica to try to undo the damage that eighteen and a half years of Socialism has done to Jamaica?

The Prime Minister

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I have already sent a message of congratulations to the new Prime Minister of Jamaica. I hope that he will have a very successful period in government and that we shall be able to help him with his objectives.

Mr. English

As the European Council discusses foreign policy, will it have on its agenda when it meets any question relating to the constitution of Canada, or is that regarded as a matter of internal concern relating only to a member State? If it is of internal concern only to a member State, is it of internal concern only to Britain or to Canada?

The Prime Minister

I should be very surprised indeed if the European Council had on its agenda the subject of the constitution of Canada. But I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his ingenuity. We have received informal emissaries from the Government of Canada, but so far we have received no formal request about the constitution.