HC Deb 18 March 1975 vol 888 cc403-4W
Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what request he has received from the Londonderry City Council that Her Majesty's Government should move for an EEC study of the north-west of the Province, to run parallel with a like study of adjoining territory across the border; and whether he will make a statement on his policy on this matter.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

No such request has been received from the Londonderry District Council. The Government of the Republic of Ireland has on a number of occasions put forward proposals for cross-border studies under EEC auspices in wide-ranging terms embracing a number of counties lying on either side of the border. The United Kingdom Government support in principle the idea of cross-border studies. However, we believe that if they are to be successful they must be limited in scope and likely to yield useful results. The Government have, therefore, asked the Government of the Irish Republic to consider two specific studies with practical applications. These are for an assessment of the potential for developing trade through Londonderry harbour bearing in mind the port's hinterland in the Republic; and for a series of studies on fish conservation policies, including studies of the employment implications.