HC Deb 19 March 1998 vol 308 c678W
Mr. Love

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the completion date of the accession negotiations relating to applicant countries for the EU; and if he will make a statement. [35098]

Mr. Doug Henderson

The Luxembourg European Council established a framework which will allow Cyprus and the ten applicant countries of Central Europe to join the EU as soon as they are ready. We shall launch accession negotiations with six of these countries on 31 March. The speed of each applicant's progress will depend on its preparations for membership. So it would be misleading to set any deadlines for the completion of accession negotiations.