§ Mr. Arnold
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about payment of own resources to the European Commission since July.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
As announced on 19 July—[Vol. 46, c.106.]—the European Commission requested that member states advance by one month, in accordance with article 10(2) of Council regulation 2891/77 the payments of own resources other than VAT own resources due on 20 August. It has since extended its request to cover payments due on 20 September, 20 October and 20 November. In the company of all other member states, the Government have complied with this request. Pending parliamentary approval of the necessary Supplementary Estimate on Class II, Vote 10, repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund of £93 million, £118 million and £110 million were made on 19 August, 20 September and 20 October respectively. As with the earlier advances the normal own resource payments directly charged to the Consolidated Fund under section 2(3) of the European Communities Act 1972 are being reduced by the amount of the advances.
No further advances are expected to be requested by the European Commission, as a supplementary and amending budget for the European Communities, which will ease the cash shortage, was adopted on 24 October.