HC Deb 18 December 1990 vol 183 c110W
Mr. Irvine

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the outcome of the meetings of Trevi and European Community Immigration Ministers in Rome on 6 and 7 December.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

The meeting of Trevi Ministers endorsed the good progress made under the Italian presidency in developing further measures to strengthen practical police co-operation, in particular as regards work towards the creation of a European drugs intelligence unit, work on the establishment of a European police information system to help combat the most serious forms of crime, and an initiative to provide joint training to police officers from drug producer and transit countries which has already resulted in a three-week pilot course. We also agreed in principle to the establishment of a permanent secretariat for Trevi, and asked for detailed work on this to be carried out during the Luxembourg presidency.

The meeting of Ministers concerned with immigration was the ninth in the series of meetings held towards the end of each presidency since 1986 and the first which I have myself attended. Ministers had before them a report from senior officials which set out the work undertaken during the Italian presidency.

In particular, we welcomed the progress that had been made on the draft convention on the crossing of the external borders of the member states of the Community and invited the ad hoc group on immigration to complete consideration of the remaining issues. We also invited the ad hoc group to consider what measures are necessary to implement article 8A of the treaty of Rome as regards frontiers. Both my predecessor and I have continued to make clear during the Italian presidency the United Kingdom's profound reservation as to the complete abolition of immigration controls at internal Community borders. We shall, however, participate actively in the study of measures for the implementation of article 8A.

Ministers also discussed the question of migration from central and eastern Europe in readiness for the Council of Europe ministerial conference to be held in Vienna in January 1991.