§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is his policy towards the proposal made by the European Commission, on behalf of the continental partners of Airbus, that there should be a clause in the civil aviation agreement to permit support to compensate Airbus Industrie for exchange rate movements of the United States dollar, as revealed in the statement before the European Parliament by M de Clercq on 9 March; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
[holding answer 21 March 1988]: The European position described by Commissioner de Clercq is jointly agreed by the Commission and the four Airbus partner Governments. The Airbus partners and the Commission consider that Government supports to the aircraft industry are consistent with our obligations under the GATT agreement on trade in civil aircraft. How and in what circumstances support is given is a matter for individual Governments; in the United Kingdom, exchange rate movements were one of the risk factors taken into account by the Government in agreeing to provide launch aid.