HC Deb 04 November 1996 vol 284 cc348-9W
Mr. Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) in what circumstances the Government(a) will and (b) will not make available information relating to article 169 proceedings; [1189]

(2) if he will make a statement about the Government's policy in respect of access to information held by the European Commission and the United Kingdom Government in the case of potential article 169 proceedings. [1188]

Mr. David Davis

I have been asked to reply.

Communications between a member state and the Commission in the context of anticipated or actual proceedings under article 169 are treated by both parties as confidential. The Government support and uphold this principle. The absence of this protection would prejudice the achievement of a negotiated settlement of disputes and the ability of member states and the European Commission to obtain confidential assistance from third parties in the preparation and conduct of the proceedings.

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