HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 cc69-70W
Mr. Mitchell

To ask the Prime Minister (1) what instructions he has given to Ministers and civil servants about their influence on public opinion towards (a) the European Union and (b) British membership of the euro; [81431]

(2) what instructions he has given about the media presentation of (a) issues concerning the European Union and (b) British membership of the euro. [81433]

The Prime Minister

Our relationship with our European partners is based upon principles of positive engagement and co-operation. This has enabled us to strengthen our influence in Europe without compromising our national interests.

To help support this new constructive relationship a Ministerial Group for European Co-ordination (MINECOR) was established in December 1998. The members of the MINECOR group are Ministers from all UK Government departments which have an interest in European policy issues. The objective of the group is to achieve greater co-ordination of the presentation of HMG's European policies both within the UK and overseas. To that end, the group considers papers which give guidance to Ministers and officials on the presentation of government policy on Europe. The group also monitors Government efforts to develop closer co-operation with other EU partners and EU applicant countries. The group meets on a regular basis and is chaired by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East and Washington, West (Ms Quin).

The Government's policy on the euro was set out by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his statement to the House on 27 October 1997, Official Report, columns 583–88.

All contacts with the media and the public are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service offers additional guidance on the presentation of Government policy and information through the media, publicity and advertising.

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