HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc707-8W
Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the main areas of responsibility of his Department which are likely to be affected by the proposed enlargement of the EEC to include Spain, Portugal and Greece; and what special action is being taken within his Department to examine the problems which will arise.

Mr. Les Huckfield

The accession to the EEC of Spain, Portugal and Greece will increase the prospects for trade between these countries and the existing member States. This will mean increased opportunities in some sectors of United Kingdom industry, and increased difficulties in others. It will also have implications for other policy areas, for example the size of the European Regional Development Fund. A primary concern of my Department is to ensure that United Kingdom industry is able to respond to the opportunities which arise, as well as to face competition in the sectors which new members will seek to exploit. Our overall objective is to ensure that full account is taken of the industrial implications for the United Kingdom of actions proposed at the level of the Community in the context of enlargement. My Department co-operates fully with other Depart- ments in the formulation of Community policy for the accession negotiations.