HC Deb 25 February 1985 vol 74 cc58-9W
Mr. William Powell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Commission has requested overdraft facilities on its own resources (No. 1) account in the United Kingdom and other member states; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ian Stewart

Article 12(2) of Council Regulation 2891/77 of 19 December 1977 empowers the Commission, in certain circumstances, to draw in excess of the total assets in its accounts in member states. The facility can be used only to meet legitimate expenditure commitments within the appropriations in the Budget, or as at present, within the provisional twelfths regime. Repayment of any overdraft will be made by deduction from the next available own resources payment into the EEC No. 1 account. Use of this facility thus does not add to the total amount that the Community is already authorised to spend in 1985.

The Commission has informed member states that it now needs to use this facility. The Government have satisfied themselves that use of the facility would comply with the provisions of Community and United Kingdom law and that the necessary payments are an obligation to be met by a direct charge on the Consolidated Fund under section 2(3) of the European Communities Act 1972.