§ Lord Pearson of Rannoch
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, with regard to the comments made by Baroness Chalker of Wallasey on 7th June (HL. Deb., cols. 1347–1349), and Earl Ferrers on 8th June (HL. Deb., cols. 1461–1462), they consider that the benefits derived from the United Kingdom's membership of the European Communities are derived more from its access to the single European market than from its membership of the European Union.
§ Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
No. Were we part of the European Economic Area, but not a member of the European Union, our companies would have to accept the rules and obligations of the Single Market without the British Government having any say in their formulation or adoption by the Council of Ministers. We need to be inside the European Union to influence European legislation to the advantage of our businesses; to press for more liberalisation, deregulation, and the elimination of unfair state aids; and to ensure that in international trade negotiations, Europe argues for free trade and open markets.