§ Mr. Paterson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will make a statement on the recent proposals to bring Britain and the European Union closer to NAFTA. 
§ Mrs. Beckett
There are many ties of trade, culture and history between the UK and North America, and we are also a committed member of the European Union. In trade matters we act primarily as part of the EU. During its Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, the UK has sought to develop our multilateral trading relations and our relations with North America so that these relations are closer and mutually supportive.