HC Deb 22 November 1979 vol 974 cc287-8W
Mr. Frank R. White

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) what action he is taking to limit the 1980 duty-free quotas on imports of paper and board, other than newsprint, to a level that will not affect the capacity and employment prospects of the United Kingdom paper and board industry; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will give an assurance that no increase in duty-free quotas for paper and board imports will take place in 1980; and if he will make a statement;

(3) whether, during the negotiations of the 1980 duty-free quota imports of paper and board with the members of the European Free Trade Association representa- tives of the United Kingdom paper and board industry, management and unions will be included in his advisory team.

Mr. Eyre

No decisions have yet been taken on the level of duty-free quotas which will apply next year under the terms of the relevant EEC/EFTA agreements. My hon. Friend the Minister for Trade has already held discussions with the British Paper and Board Industry Federation at which a trade union representative was present. The Government are bound also to take account of the interests of our former EFTA partners towards whom we have treaty obligations, and of the United Kingdom user industries which are also large employers of labour in this country.