HC Deb 21 March 1984 vol 56 cc1043-4
51. Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when next he expects to meet his French counterpart to discuss official problems affecting the European Community.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

I met my French counterpart at the European Council in Brussels this week. I next expect to meet him for discussions on European Community matters at the Foreign Affairs Council on 9 and 10 April.

Mr. Dykes

How would my right hon. and learned Friend react if there was increasing development in Europe of the Nine, with us being left out?

Sir Geoffrey Howe

The European Community is the community of Ten and it is important that it should be so maintained. It is for that reason that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I worked so hard throughout the past two days to try to secure agreement on all the matters that were on the agenda.

Mr. Rogers

Is it not true that during the negotiations the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister agreed to an increase of own resources to 1.4 per cent. from 1 January 1986 increasing to 1.6 per cent. in 1988? Was that not conceded until the point was reached where they could not settle the petty cash problem?

Sir Geoffrey Howe

There is no question of any agreement or any matter under discussion before the European Council being conceded or accepted except upon the basis that the other conditions were also agreed. A number of questions were considered in a variety of orders at different stages of the proceedings. We acknowledged that a case could be made for an increase along the lines indicated by the hon. Gentleman, but we made it absolutely clear that it could be accepted only if our two conditions were satisfied. We made it equally clear that any such increase would require the approval of both Houses of Parliament.