HC Deb 22 February 1990 vol 167 cc914-5W
36. Sir Michael McNair-Wilson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with his EEC opposite numbers about harmonising the laws relating to the display and sale of pornographic films and magazines.

Mr. Mellor

My right hon. and learned Friend has had no personal discussions on this topic, but the Department has contributed to the work of the Council of Europe in encouraging its members to strengthen controls against the distribution of videograms having a violent, brutal or pornographic content, and to the work of the Council and the European Community in securing international agreement on minimum standards in broadcasting. We shall continue to stress to our European partners the need to maintain high standards in published and broadcast material. Within the European Community, article 36 of the treaty of Rome allows member states to prohibit or restrict imports on grounds of public morality, provided that there is no arbitrary discrimination or disguised restriction on trade between member states. We intend to maintain strong controls over the display and sale of pornographic material within the United Kingdom.