§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement about the signature of the Spanish and Portuguese treaty of accession to the European Communities.
§ Sir Geoffrey Howe
The treaty on the accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Communities was signed in Lisbon and Madrid on 12 June. I was the United Kingdom signatory together with our permanent representative to the European Communities.
The Government intend to introduce a Bill on Spanish and Portuguese accession at the beginning of the next parliamentary Session, which will provide the House with an opportunity to examine the treaty of accession before ratification. As soon as a certified copy of the treaty, with the lengthy Act of Accession annexed to it, is available, a copy will be placed in the Library of the House to enable hon. Members to study it. An account of the outcome in the main chapters of the negotiations has been made available meanwhile to hon. Members in the document entitled "Annex to the Statement made by the President-In-Office of the European Council to the European Parliament", which was placed in the Library of the House on 23 April.
I would also draw the attention of hon. Members to a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and British Overseas Trade Board booklet called "Basic Facts on Spanish Accession". It gives a summary of the relevant transitional arrangements and is designed to help British exporters to the Spanish and Portuguese markets and was 529W published on 12 June. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House and in the Vote Office. A companion booklet on Portuguese accession will be available on 22 June and copies will also be placed in the Library of the House.
Before leaving Madrid, I had an exchange of letters with the Spanish Foreign Minister, in which we agreed that our respective positions concerning Gibraltar had not been affected by signature of the accession treaty. I am arranging for copies of the exchange to be placed in the Library of the House.