§ Mr. MacShane
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on co-ordinating Government policy initiatives between member states. 
§ Mr. Freeman
During the past year, I have had regular contact with the Commission and with Ministers in other member states pressing the case for fewer, better and simpler regulations in Europe. Progress to date includes the SLIM—simpler legislation in the internal market—initiative to review and simplify areas of existing legislation, and a recently agreed Council resolution to help ensure that future rules from Brussels are proportionate, goal-based and small firm friendly.