§ 14. Sir David Knox
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to meet his counterparts in the European Union to discuss greater political union.
§ Sir David Knox
Is my right hon. Friend aware of a speech made by Ray Seitz last year, shortly before he ceased to be the American ambassador to Britain, in which he stated that British influence in the United States depended on the degree to which we were effectively engaged in the European Union? Has the Foreign Office fully taken that advice into account, coming as it does from a very good friend of this country who has its best interests at heart?
§ Mr. Hurd
Yes, I remember the speech—it was a good one. We certainly believe, as the Prime Minister said at Leiden, that we need to strengthen the European Union, of which we are a part. Of particular interest to the United States are defence, on which I have already answered one question, and about which the Secretary of State for Defence has also just made a speech, and foreign policy. We believe that we are only at the beginning of effective co-operation between Europeans, under the framework of the treaty of Maastricht intergovernmental co-operation. We believe, as the Prime Minister also said at Leiden, that we should be more ambitious under this heading.