HC Deb 21 December 1973 vol 866 cc483-4W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether, in view of the adverse balance of trade with the countries of the Common Market and Great Britain's general economic situation, he will propose a quota restriction on inessential imports from the EEC; and whether this is permitted under conditions of membership of the EEC without consultation with and the agreement of the countries of the Common Market.

Sir G. Howe

As regards the first part of the Question, I would not wish to take any action that could generate a decline in world trade with consequent loss of United Kingdom exports and employment.

As regards the second part, in certain circumstances protective measures, which could include quota restrictions, may be taken without prior consultation with the Commission or other member States, though the EEC Council may decide that the measures should be amended or withdrawn.