§ Mr. Greg Knight
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's relations with the EFTA countries.
§ Mr. Maude
United Kingdom relations with the EFTA countries are already very close—both bilaterally and through EC/EFTA co-operation. We are firmly committed to strengthening these relations still further. The EFTA countries are a major trading partner and all have free trade agreements with the EC. Close co-operation continues under the framework of the Luxembourg declaration agreed by EC and EFTA Ministers in 1984. This has already resulted in worthwhile practical achievements in reducing and eliminating remaining barriers to trade. At an informal EC/EFTA ministerial meeting on 20 March, ways of broadening and deepening the relationship were discussed. There will be a further ministerial meeting before the end of the year. The United Kingdom welcomes this intensification of activities and will play a full role in it.