HC Deb 06 November 1980 vol 991 c644W
Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) what machinery will be set up within the EEC to ensure that quotas of steel production by member States will be rigidly adhered to;

(2) what quotas for United Kingdom steel production have been agreed with the EEC Commission; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what quotas for United Kingdom production of high speed steel, tool steel and stainless steel bars have been agreed with the EEC Commission: what other special steels are subject to the EEC agreement and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Adam Butler

[pursuant to his reply, 4 November, 1980, c. 540]: On 30 October the Council of Ministers agreed in principle to the establishment of tonnage quotas for the introduction of most ECSC steel products and to overall supervisory arrangements. Quotas will be allocated to undertakings—not to member States—on the basis of fixed percentage reductions from their level of output calculated on preceding years. They provide for an overall reduction in Community crude steel production in the fourth quarter of 1980 to 14.2 per cent. below the level in the fourth quarter of 1979.

The Commission is establishing a system of production supervision which will include returns from producers and detailed checks by an inspectorate recruited for the purpose. Special steels with an alloy content of at least 5 per cent. other than stainless steels, may be produced in excess of the quotas. Undertakings will, however, be subject to the same system of supervision; the Commission will publish guidelines on the basis of continuing survey of market trends and may terminate this derogation in respect of any product in the light of subsequent market situation. Firms producing less than 6,000 tonnes a quarter of all special steels will be subject to the supervision arrangements, but not to quotas.