§ Mr. Bellingham:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on (a) the latest goods trade deficit with the European Union and (b) how this figure compares with previous figures. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien:
According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, the UK goods trade deficit with the European Union was worth £2.2 billion in September 2003. The deficit in the latest three-month period was £5.7 billion compared to £5.4 billion in the previous quarter, and £5.5 billion in the three-month period ended September 2002. The latest three-month deficit represents 10.0 per cent. of the total trade with the European Union. This compares with 9.4 per cent. in the previous quarter and 9.1 per cent. in the same quarter a year earlier.