HC Deb 30 October 1996 vol 284 cc642-3
9. Mr. MacShane

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on United Kingdom relations with the United States of America. [691]

Sir Nicholas Bonsor

Relations between the United Kingdom and the United States are excellent.

Mr. MacShane

After the Prime Minister's disastrous intervention four years ago in the United States election campaign and the phalanx of Tory officials sent from central office to help the Conservative candidate, Robert Dole, to his great election result next week, is it not a fact that on key economic issues, whether raising the minimum wage or ensuring that child labour and social questions are discussed at the World Trade Organisation, we are right out of line with the US, and that the American Administration cannot wait for a change of government here in the United Kingdom, for an Administration that will speak a modern language?

Sir Nicholas Bonsor

No. The United States and the United Kingdom are in line on almost every aspect of international affairs. We work closely together in, for example, Bosnia and in the United Nations in trying to secure reform of that organisation. We are trying to move forwards towards the liberalisation of world trade. We think alike in all major areas of international policy. The point that the hon. Gentleman has made for the second time in Question Time about support given by certain members of the Conservative party to opposition to President Clinton at the last election is fatuous. The relationship between the United States, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and the Government are extremely good.

Mr. Dykes

Bearing in mind the fact that the career of the present American Secretary of State has been tangibly underwhelming, to put it mildly, will my hon. Friend promise that on Wednesday 6 November Foreign Office Ministers will contact President Clinton's staff to insist that the United States accepts European participation in the middle east peace process, and that it will put necessary pressure on some of the few extremists in Israel to ensure that a proper middle east peace process emerges from Israeli co-operation, as is desired by millions of moderate citizens?

Sir Nicholas Bonsor

Certainly not.

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