§ Mr. Irvine
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will report on the Internal Market Council held on 23 November.
§ Mr. Redwood
The Council reached agreement on the abolition of the Community transit advice note (TAN), on the reduction of frontier controls for transport (subject to a United Kingdom parliamentary scrutiny reserve) on a "new approach" directive on standards for certain weighing machines, and on the third motor liability insurance directive.
Important progress was also made on the proposed EC merger regulation. The main outstanding issue is a German proposal to allow certain cases to pass to national competition authorities. The Council will discuss the regulation further at the Internal Market Council on 21 December. I refer the hon. Member to the previous answers that I gave on this subject on 24 November 1989 at columns 41–42 and on 29 November at column 291.
The Council discussed proposed directives on public procurement (excluded sectors), rights of residence, gas appliances and life insurance services and made useful progress. All will be discussed again at the December Internal Market Council. The question of tax exemption for temporarily imported vehicles was also discussed, but was not agreed, following concerns expressed by a number of member states.
The Commission reported that it would bring forward specific recommendations based on its analysis of barriers to takeovers in member states by the end of March 1990.