HC Deb 03 March 1999 vol 326 c1061
1. Mr. Denzil Davies (Llanelli)

If he will make a statement on the impact of Agenda 2000 negotiations on the European Union structural funds. [72453]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Peter Hain)

The Agenda 2000 negotiations include preparing the European Union for enlargement and providing for simpler, fairer and more accessible European structural funds programmes.

Mr. Davies

My hon. Friend will have heard and read the figure of £1.5 billion to £2 billion as the possible amount that Wales would receive if it obtained objective 1 status. Can he confirm that such a figure is ring-fenced, or will it be affected by the current deadlock between the French and Germans in the negotiations? Will my hon. Friend clear up a slight mystery by confirming which is the lead Department involved in the negotiations on the structural funds? Is it the Department of Trade and Industry, the Foreign Office or the Treasury?

Mr. Hain

On the latter point, all three Departments are involved and the Welsh Office is taking a close interest. The negotiations as they are proceeding in Brussels at the moment are slow, but we hope that the issues will be resolved within the next month.

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