HC Deb 03 May 1983 vol 42 cc23-4W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Greenland voters elected to leave the European Community in a referendum; what procedures have been activated in the interim; and what further steps will be taken to enable Greenland to leave the European Community.

Mr. Hurd

In a referendum on 23 February 1982, Greenland opted by a small majority for withdrawal from the Community. In June 1982 the Danish Government submitted to the Council of Ministers a proposal for a treaty amending the EC treaty to provide for Greenland's withdrawal from full membership, and her addition to annex IV to the EC treaty, which regulates relations between the Community and the listed overseas countries and territories of member states. The form of any future relationship is a matter for negotiation. The Commission submitted its opinion on the future relationship between Greenland and the Community on 3 February 1983. The Council had preliminary discussions of this in February and April and will discuss the matter again in May. The European Parliament's opinion is still awaited. But the proposal raises a number of important issues, particularly as regards fisheries, and it is not possible at this stage to predict when negotiations are likely to be concluded.

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