HC Deb 30 March 1998 vol 309 c442W
Mr. Mitchell

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from other member states of the European Union concerning the current system of budget rebates for the United Kingdom and the date when the current period of that arrangement expires. [37212]

Mrs. Liddell

My right hon. Friend has not received any formal representations on this subject from any other Member State, though we understand that a number of other countries have asked the Commission to propose a rebate system which would also apply to them.

The UK's abatement remains in force indefinitely. The unanimous agreement of Member States including the UK would be required to amend the legislation governing our abatement. As the Government have frequently made clear, the UK abatement remains fully justified. We cannot see circumstances in which it would not continue to be warranted in its present form.