HC Deb 30 January 1985 vol 72 cc277-8
18. Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether Her Majesty's Government favour a new round of negotiations on the general agreement on tariffs and trade.

Mr. Channon

Yes, provided the preparatory discussions show good prospects of success.

Mr. Carlisle

When are these talks likely to take place? Does my right hon. Friend agree that the United Kingdom depends very heavily upon trade and that we must aim further to reduce barriers? Therefore, when these talks take place will my right hon. Friend insist that those countries to which we experience difficulty in exporting freely, such as Spain and Japan, significantly reduce their trade barriers?

Mr. Channon

It would be a prime aim during the talks and in other fora to ensure a genuine opening-up of the Japanese market. With Spain coming into the European Community, there will be free trade between Spain and the rest of the Community in a comparatively short time. No one can yet tell whether there will be a round of talks on the GATT, but I think that there will preliminary talks this year and every likelihood of substantive talks towards the end of the year.