§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Minister for Trade if he will make a statement about progress on the subject of interregional cross-frontier air services within the European Community, made at the Council of Transport Ministers at Luxembourg on 10 June.
§ Mr. Sproat
The Council showed an encouraging readiness to look at the scope for constructive compromise. Nearly all member States were willing to make progress. For the first time, substantial and important advances were made. These were fully supported by Her Majesty's Government. Provisional agreement was reached on a number of important points, including aircraft size, the airports to be used, minimum route length and the prohibition of subsidies. These are matters on which it was essential to establish understanding as a basis for agreement on other aspects of the directive. Much remains to be done but we have made good progress towards a system which would allow air services between the regions of the Community to be established more freely. The Council will return to the matter at its next meeting towards the end of the year.