HC Deb 18 November 1993 vol 233 cc7-8

The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our tour of Caribbean countries next spring. We shall visit France to inaugurate, with the President of the French Republic, the Channel Tunnel in May; and to attend the ceremonies to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, in June. We shall visit Canada to attend the Commonwealth Games in August.

My Government attach the highest importance to national security. They will maintain full support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. They will work to secure NATO's adaptation to the changing security environment, and to continue developing the operational role of the Western European Union. My Government will work for full implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, and for the entry into force of the Open Skies Treaty. Britain's minimum independent nuclear deterrent will be maintained.

My Government will work for the effective implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to promote the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to encourage international responsibility in conventional arms transfers. They will take part constructively in negotiations on a verifiable and comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban. They will continue to help with the safe and secure transport of nuclear weapons for dismantling in the former Soviet Union.

Now that the Treaty of Maastricht has entered into force, My Government will attach particular importance to implementing the new common foreign and security policy and intergovernmental co-operation in the fields of justice and home affairs. They will work to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is applied to European Community legislation. My Government will promote financial and budgetary discipline in the Community. They will work within the Community for a successful conclusion to the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations.

My Government will work for a rapid conclusion of accession agreements with Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and will continue to put forward the case for European countries which are ready and wish to join the European Community.

My Government will strive for a peaceful settlement in the former Yugoslavia. They will provide help for political and economic reform in the states of the former Soviet Union, and their integration into the international community.

My Government will play a constructive role in strengthening the United Nations' capacity to under-take peacekeeping and preventive action. They will work for full Iraqi compliance with Security Council Resolutions.

My Government welcome the recent breakthrough in the Middle East peace process. They will continue to support efforts to bring lasting peace to the region.

My Government will work for the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and to co-operate with China to implement the Sino-British Joint Declaration in the best interests of the Hong Kong people.

My Government will play an active part in the Commonwealth. They will support construction of a democratic society in South Africa.

My Government will maintain a substantial aid programme to promote sustainable development and good government.

My Government will introduce legislation to place the Secret Intelligence Service and Government Communications Headquarters on a statutory basis; and to make further provisions for the oversight and accountability of them and the Security Service.

In Northern Ireland My Government will continue their efforts to defeat terrorism through impartial and resolute enforcement of the law, to uphold the democratic wishes of its people and seek political progress by broadly based agreement, to strengthen economic progress and to create equality of opportunity for all sections of the community. They will maintain positive relations with the Republic of Ireland.

My Government will maintain their fight against terrorism, throughout the United Kingdom and elsewhere.