§ Mr. Allen McKay
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take steps to ensure that the European Commission draft Council regulation on the strengthening of the common commercial policy with regard in particular to protection against unfair commercial practices by competitors outside the European Community is brought immediately into effect.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
The Commission's proposal for a Council regulation strengthening the common commercial policy is still under discussion in the Council, and was most recently considered at the Internal Market Council in Luxembourg on 21 June. The Government favour strengthening the common commercial policy in ways consistent with the Community's international obligations and our commitment to the open market system.
However, the Government are opposed to the decision-taking procedure proposed by the Commission. Decisions on action in defence of the Community's trade rights, hitherto a matter for the Council, would pass to the Commission, subject only to limited appeal to the Council by member states. The Government take the view that decisions under the regulation should be taken by the Council, acting by qualified majority. It would therefore be inappropriate for the Government to press for the proposed regulation to be brought into effect immediately.