HC Deb 16 May 1991 vol 191 cc424-5
Q4. Mr. Hunter

To ask the Prime Minister when he will next meet the Chancellor of Germany; and what subjects he intends to discuss with him.

The Prime Minister

I expect to see the Chancellor next at the European Council in Luxembourg on 28 and 29 June, when we shall discuss whatever business is before the Council.

Mr. Hunter

In the course of his continuing dialogue with Chancellor Kohl, has my right hon. Friend found grounds to believe that effective common European foreign, defence and security policies are attainable, or have the events of a few months ago demonstrated that, at least for the time being, they are unattainable?

The Prime Minister

What is entirely clear is that, whatever may be decided, NATO must remain the core of our defence for the future, and that includes beyond any doubt the continued presence in Europe of United States and Canadian forces. But I think that there is scope for improving the co-operation of European views within NATO and the effectiveness of the European response outside the NATO area. We have put forward detailed proposals for both in the intergovernmental conferences.

Mr. Wareing

As it is believed that Herr Karl Otto Poehl is about to offer his resignation as president of the Bundesbank, will the Prime Minister be telling the German Chancellor that he is about to offer a free transfer to Mr. Leigh-Pemberton, the Governor of the Bank of England, and offer him to the German Chancellor free of charge?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Mr. Ian Taylor

When my right hon. Friend meets the German Chancellor, will he discuss the implications of the recent European Commission decision to intervene in German industry to remove the subsidies that the west German Government have been paying to west German industry for some years? And is not that a sign that the Single European Act and the single market are working very effectively and levelling the playing field for the benefit of Britain?

The Prime Minister

I hope and believe that that is the case. We certainly wish to see the continued reduction of subsidies throughout Europe.

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