§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the proposals by the Commission for the mutual recognition of firearms certificates; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
My hon. Friend is no doubt referring to the proposal for a Council directive on the control of the acquisition and possession of weapons. Member states must be free to carry out the checks necessary to preserve security and maintain law and order. We shall continue to make clear to other member states our belief that the proposal in its present form does not contain adequate safeguards to combat terrorism and limit the ability of criminals to acquire firearms illegally. As the proposal has yet to be formally discussed, it would not be appropriate to raise it at the next European Council.