§ Mr. Ford
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is his policy on the European Commission's proposals for outward processing, as set out in the draft regulation on outward processing traffic with Mediterranean countries; if he will indicate, in detail, any reservations on the proposal; and what is his policy on the offsetting of outward processed trade allowances against existing trade quotas and on the extent to which domestic production would be subject to outward processing.
§ Mr. Parkinson
I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) on 19 December—[Vol. 996, c. 553]. The United Kingdom has no special quotas for outward processed goods, and textiles and clothing manufactured outside the Community count against any relevant quotas or restraint levels when entering the United Kingdom whether or not they were manufactured from materials produced in the Community. There are no plans to change this practice and therefore the Commission's proposal to harmonise member States' arrangements for administering special OP quotas would have no direct impact in the United Kingdom. However, in connection with the forthcoming negotiations on the MFA, the Government will welcome representations from industry and any other interested bodies on this aspect of our arrangements for low-cost textile imports.