§ Mr. Teddy Taylor (Southend, East)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 10, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the decision of the Council of Finance Ministers yesterday to approve substantial additional agricultural spending in breach of the budgetary limits agreed by the European Council on 4 December 1984.While EEC spending is a continuing issue, yesterday's decision is in a different category and strikes at the heart of this House's control of spending. The House agreed in 1985 to increase the VAT contribution to the EEC by 40 per cent. in real terms following a specific agreement concluded by the Prime Minister which provided, first, that the additional resources would last for several years, secondly, that strict budgetary controls would be applied, and, thirdly, that the rate of increase in farm spending would be limited to the natural increase in own resources. But the Commission has since advised in document 7113 that the 40 per cent. increase will be exhausted this year, and yesterday's unanimous decision of the Council of Finance Ministers proves that strict budgetary limits are dead and that farm spending arrears are out of control in relation to the agreement which was solemnly concluded.
If there is no debate today or tomorrow, our Chancellor and other Finance Ministers will conclude by Wednesday an agreement that ignores the December 1984 agreement which this House was advised was binding on the Council of Finance Ministers. If no debate is held, Parliament will 168 have surrendered a huge area of control over spending. I therefore conclude that this is an important, urgent and serious matter that should have the immediate attention of the House.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,the decision of the Council of Finance Ministers yesterday to approve substantial additional agricultural spending in breach of the budgetary limits agreed by the European Council on 4 December 1984.I have listened with great care to what the hon. Gentleman has said. As he knows, my duty in considering an application under Standing Order No. 10 is to decide whether it should be given priority over the business already set down for today or tomorrow. I regret that I cannot find that the matter that he has raised meets all the criteria laid down in the Standing Order, and I cannot therefore submit his application to the House.
Nevertheless, I say to the hon. Gentleman that I hope that even this week he will find other opportunities of raising this matter in the House.