§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps he proposes to take to protect the British clothing and textile industry in the light of the failure of the EEC Trade Ministers' meeting in Brussels to reach an adequate and effective protocol for the multi-fibre arrangement.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
[pursuant to his reply, 18 January 1982]: A protocol renewing the multi-fibre arrangement until July 1986 was adopted by the GATT textiles committee on 22 December 1981. At the next Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Brussels on 25 January 1982 the Commission will recommend that the Community sign this protocol.
In his statement on 22 December 1981 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade emphasised that the protocol had to be seen as part of an overall package which will include bilateral agreements to be negotiated this year. The Government consider that the protocol allows the Community to negotiate effective agreements which meet all our essential concerns, and intend to play their full part in determining the Community's detailed position as these negotiations proceed.