HC Deb 28 March 1984 vol 57 cc180-1W
Mr. Roger King

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made during the French presidency on liberalising trade within the European Community.

Mr. Channon

The presidency has held several meetings of the Council of Ministers at which measures to liberalise further intra-Community trade have been discussed.

A number of member states have agreed to bring forward to 1 January 1985 their implementation of the frontier facilitation directive which provides for better opening hours at customs posts and faster clearance of goods lorries. The Council also agreed to extend the benefits of the temporary use regulation to commercial samples. Most outstanding points have now been resolved on the proposal to strengthen the Community's external trade policy, agreement on which will permit parallel progress in the internal market, notably on 15 directives setting common technical standards for a range of industrial products. Useful progress has been made on proposals to reduce further formalities at frontiers and to liberalise insurance services.

The presidency intends to hold further meetings of the Council on these matters before the end of June.