HC Deb 23 June 1993 vol 227 c290
6. Mr. McKelvey

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the date on which he received the last representations on consumer guarantees; and when he expects to announce the results of his consultation.

Mr. McLoughlin

The last response was received in April of this year. However, the Director General of Fair Trading has embarked on a further study of consumer guarantees, and the EC Commission is also preparing a discussion paper. We have thought it best to await the outcome of these initiatives before making any announcement ourselves.

Mr. McKelvey

For heaven's sake, the DTI has been sitting on these responses since October—it has had nine months in which to consider these matters. Does not the Minister feel that British firms would gain an advantage if we had proper and effective consumer guarantees? We should then be more than able to compete with the import of foreign goods and thus do something to help our balance of trade deficit.

Mr. McLoughlin

Since April, when representations were last made, a number of matters have moved on, and we have thought it best to await the outcome of the initiatives that I described to the hon. Gentleman.