HC Deb 30 November 1984 vol 68 c628W
Mr. Nicholas Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council of 26 to 28 November.

Mr. Rifkind

My right hon. and learned Friend represented the United Kingdom at the Foreign Affairs Council which met in Brussels from 26–28 November. I was also present.

In the context of enlargement, Ministers discussed reform of the internal wine regime, fisheries, certain detailed aspects of the Portuguese negotiations, Spanish agriculture and Spanish industrial tariff transition. Ministerial negotiations with Spain and Portugal were held in the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council. Enlargement issues will be further discussed at the European Council on 3–4 December.

Following its meeting with the European Parliament on 21 November, the Council discussed the text on budget discipline. The substance of the text has already been agreed. We made it clear that we would not be in a position to seek the approval of the House for implementation of the inter-governmental agreement on supplementary financing for 1984 until the text on budget discipline has been formally adopted.

The Council declared its concern and disappointment that the United States has rejected the Community's terms for negotiating restraints on steel pipe and tube exports, fully reserving its rights under the GATT. It agreed to denounce the 1982 EC-US exchange of letters on these exports.

Ministers agreed that the committee of Permanent Representatives should consider further Vice-President Davignon's request for an exchange of letters on science and technology co-operation with the Japanese.

The Council agreed the generalised scheme of preferences for 1985, subject to a British parliamentary scrutiny reserve which has since been lifted.

Ministers considered the Commission's proposals for integrated Mediterranean programmes. No agreement was reached on this issue which will be discussed at the European Council in Dublin on 3–4 December.