HC Deb 22 April 1975 vol 890 cc272-3W
31. Mr. Tebbit

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the ways in which employment prospects have been improved by United Kingdom membership of the EEC and those in which prospects would be worsened by withdrawal.

Mr. Hattersley

It is not possible to isolate from among the many factors influencing the United Kingdom employment situation over the past two years those which derived from membership of the EEC, but access to a large and growing market, without tariffs and other obstacles to trade, should increasingly benefit industry and employment prospects. Withdrawal would result in uncertainty and a loss of confidence with a consequent risk of deterioration in the level of employment.

32. Mr. Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will make a statement on the likely consequences of United Kingdom withdrawal from the EEC for the level of domestic employment, in terms both of short-term unemployment and of long-term employment prospects.

Mr. Hattersley

As stated in the White Paper "Membership of the European Community" (Cmnd. 6003), withdrawal from the Community would involve the risk of deterioration, for a time at least, in the level of domestic employment. It is also the Government's view that British interests, including the achievement and maintenance of a high level of employment, would be best served by continued membership of the Community.

Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Common-wealth Affairs how many further meetings he intends to address on the EEC referendum in the month of May.

Mr. Hattersley

Before the referendum takes place my right hon. Friend expects to address meetings in the North West and the North East, in the South of England and the Midlands, in Scotland and, of course, in Wales.