§ Mr. Woolmer
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if the Government have accepted in whole, or in part, the general objectives, means of action, and policies contained in the Commission communication to the Council on general guidelines for a textiles and clothing industry policy, which was issued on 20 July 1978; and whether his Department has issued a memorandum outlining the effects of the proposal on the United Kingdom textiles and clothing industry; and to whom such a memorandum was issued.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
[pursuant to his reply, 29 November 1979]: The Commission communication in question is couched in general terms, and the Government have not been required to accept or reject the guidelines, which have not been discussed in the Council of Ministers. We shall, of course, give careful consideration to any specific proposals put forward by the Commission on any 818W of the many issues covered in the communication.
An explanatory memorandum on the communication was submitted to Parliament on 12 October 1978. Officials from the Departments of Industry and Trade gave oral and written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities in November and December 1978, when it was considering the communication. A supplementary memorandum was later provided to the Committee by the Departments of Industry and Trade, reporting on subsequent developments.
Viscount Long set out the Governments position on the communication when the House of Lords debated the 16th report—to which the above memorandum is annexed—of the Select Committee on the European Communities, on 12 July 1979.
§ Mr. Woolmer
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has taken action on any of the recommendations contained in the 16th report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities—Session 1978–79—on the Commission communication on general guidelines for a textiles and clothing industry policy—R2118/78; and what pressure he has put on the European Commission to eliminate all barriers to trade whether tariff or non-tariff within the Community and to ensure that existing agreements are enforced.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
[pursuant to his reply, 29 November 1979]: It would take considerable time and involve disproportionate cost to give a detailed reply in connection with all the recommendations contained in the 16th report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities.
However, as Viscount Long said when the House of Lords debated the report on 12 July 1979, the Government agree with many of the conclusions reached by the Select Committee. We shall continue to take the Committee's views fully into account in dealing with textiles and clothing matters.
There are, of course, no tariff barriers to trade within the EEC. As far as non-tariff barriers are concerned, the Government are co-operating fully with the Commission and other member States in an exercise currently being undertaken 819W to ensure that as far as possible legislation on technical standards in different member States does not impede intra-Community trade. We are prepared to consider an approach to the EEC Commission if evidence is received of any non-tariff barrier within the Community which is having a significant damaging effect on United Kingdom exports.