HC Deb 06 March 1996 vol 273 c342
22. Mr. Betts

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the President of the European Commission to discuss the function of the European Union. [17284]

Mr. David Davis

My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary last met Mr. Santer on 28 January.

Mr. Betts

Was there discussion on that occasion of comments by the French European Affairs Minister, Mr. Barnier, that there was no possibility of agreeing in the intergovernmental conference to any expansion of the European Union without serious discussion of the possibility of extending to all countries that want to join the EU the veto on all matters that the veto currently covers? The French position appears to be that, if the British are not prepared to discuss the veto, the French are not prepared to discuss the expansion of the Union.

Mr. Davis

That is not the way that the matter was presented in the study group.