§ Mr. Wrigglesworth
asked the Secretary of State for Transport when exemptions 110W will be authorised from regulation (EEC) 543/69 on drivers' hours; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
Following consultations with both sides of the road transport industry, I have completed discussions with the European Commission on national derogations from regulation (EEC) 543/69 and laid the necessary draft regulations before the House yesterday. Like the draft harmonisation regulations to which I referred in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Mitchell) on Monday 26th June—[Vol. 952, c. 427]—these will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. I have arranged for copies of the Commission's formal opinions and decision on these matters to be placed in the Library of the House.
Because of the urgent need to remove uncertainties facing the industry, I hope that it will be possible to debate the regulations before the Recess. In the meantime, as I said in the House on 1st February—[Vol. 943, c. 433–4]—until the final decisions are made, I would not want anyone to change operating practices in respect of the vehicles and purposes for which derogation is possible.