§ 1. Mr. Wayne David (Caerphilly)
If he will make a statement about the EU's political relationship with countries that will border the expanded European Union. 
§ The Minister for Europe (Mr. Denis MacShane)
We want the European Union's new neighbours to develop positive political and economic links with the EU, and in my visits, including a recent one to Ukraine, I encouraged them along those lines. The British 2 Government took the lead a year ago to propose that the EU upgrade its relationships with its new neighbours and we shall pursue that policy energetically.
§ Mr. David
I thank the Minister for his reply. Does he agree that the new European security strategy, outlined by High Representative Solana, shows a positive step forward on the basis of real security for the new Europe? Does he also agree that the new developing political geography of Europe offers great opportunities for the countries entering the EU, enabling a better and more positive relationship with countries to the east?
§ Mr. MacShane
My hon. Friend is right. Mr. Solana's policy document on security is an important step forward, bringing Europe and the United States together. He is also right—and I can confirm it—that all my visits to new neighbours in eastern Europe show that the younger, reforming, modernising, progressive, intelligent, business-oriented politicians all look to the European Union and reject the strategy of saying no to Europe that we hear occasionally in the House.
§ Mr. Julian Brazier (Canterbury)
Could I suggest that the Minister would do better to respond to the substantive question rather than make cheap jibes? The plain fact is that practical measures are what matters for countries bordering the future EU. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that the Polish-Ukrainian border is not closed by the Schengen arrangements, which would have a disastrous effect not only on the Ukrainian economy but on that of the Soviet Union?
§ Mr. MacShane
I do not want to make cheap jibes, but that country is called Russia now. If the hon. Gentleman visited the Polish-Ukrainian border, he would see both Warsaw and Kiev making concrete efforts to ensure that local border arrangements are in place to allow local trade to continue. The British Government and the EU have helped our partners to establish adequate border arrangements. Or my visit to Kiev last month, the issue highlighted by the 3 hon. Gentleman was not raised. We must maintain trade and a border that allows Ukrainian and other reforming neighbours to look to the EU for future political relationships.
§ Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore)
Having spent a good part of my spare time during the summer reading a 600-page tome on the history of Europe, may I ask whether the Minister agrees that the expansion of the EU, and, I hope, the inclusion of other countries in future, is nothing to be scared of? Rather, it is a matter of back to the future.
§ Mr. MacShane
I commend my hon. Friend's summer reading and wish that Conservative Members read something on Europe other than the Daily Mail with its isolationist, anti-European traditions. My hon. Friend, who is referring to the excellent book by Professor Norman Davies, is right. Our historic chance in the present House of Commons is to make enlargement work and show our new European neighbours that the EU is a force for good, for progress and for stability and security in this troubled world.
§ Mr. Richard Spring (West Suffolk)
Does the Minister agree that, in view of Turkey's stalwart support for our defence interests over many decades and its position as a bridge between two continents, every encouragement should be given to make Turkey ready for EU accession? Does he also agree that an important aspect of that task is resolution of the problem of Cyprus? What measures does the Minister propose to advance that?
§ Mr. MacShane
I could not agree more with the hon. Gentleman and I am glad that there is one narrow area of terrain over which we see eye to eye. He is quite right. The Government want Turkey to look west and prepare itself for EU membership. A major contribution to that would be for Turkey to put pressure on the northern Cypriot-Turkish communities and leaders, so that a united Cyprus can enter the European Union on 1 May next year. Under the Annan plan, that would mean that one of its two leaders would be a Turkish Cypriot, Turkish would become an official language of the Union and Turkey would be dealing and negotiating with a partner that understood her language and culture. It is in Ankara's interests to do everything now to support a united Cyprus, under the Annan plan, joining the European Union.