HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 c821W
Mr. Ancram

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Gibraltar's legal status within the European Union; and what recourse Gibraltar has with regard to disputes with other member states. [59096]

Mr. Straw

Gibraltar is part of the EU by virtue of the UK's membership and Article 299(4) of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC), which states that the treaty applies to 'European territories for whose external relations a Member State is responsible'. Certain provisions (including the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies and the VAT regime) do not apply, and Gibraltar is not part of the Common Customs Territory.

The Commission has primary responsibility for ensuring that member states comply with their EU obligations, and may bring infraction proceedings under Article 226 TEC. In addition Article 227 TEC allows a member state which considers that another member state has failed to fulfil an obligation under the treaty to bring the matter before the European Court of Justice.

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