§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what comment or dissent was offered by the United Kingdom to the decision of the European Community General Affairs Council of 5 February to ask Ireland formally to request the revision of the treaty of Rome and table framed treaty revision proposals; whether there will be an intergovernmental conference; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Maude
The President of the European Council at Strasbourg noted that the necessary majority existed to convene a conference charged with preparing an amendment of the treaty with a view to the final stages of EMU. The Foreign Affairs Council on 5 February considered the procedural technicalities required to gibe effect to the relevant conclusions of the Strasbourg European Council, in particular the requirement to obtain an opinion from the European Parliament.
We have made clear that, though we believe the convening of the intergovernmental conference was premature, we will nevertheless participate in it.