§ LORD GIFFORD
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What negotiations have taken place between Portugal and the Commission of the European Economic Community regarding the granting of associate membership or privileged status by the EEC to Portugal; whether Her Majesty's Government have been consulted about such negotiations; and what is their policy with regard thereto.
§ BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE
Like other non-candidate members of EFTA, Portugal is currently engaged in negotiations for a trading agreement with the European Community which it is hoped will come into force when the Community is enlarged.
Now that the Treaty of Accession has been signed, the United Kingdom and the other acceding States participate, like the Six, as observers at the negotiations between the Commission and the EFTA non-candidates, including Portugal, and are consulted by the Community.
Her Majesty's Government have emphasised our strong interest in safe-guarding the free trade already established 369WA between EFTA countries and it is our hope that these negotiations can be concluded in time for the agreement to enter into force in January, 1973.