§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps the Government are taking to protect and encourage the textile industry in north-east Lancashire.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
Under the United Kingdom presidency, the EC concluded extensions to all its bilatural multi-fibre arrangement agreements, which regulate textile imports. These extensions will last until it is possible to implement a GATT agreement on trade in textiles and clothing which would phase out quantitative restrictions over 10 years.
More generally, it is the Government's policy to assist British business to become and remain more competitive, both nationally and internationally. To that end, they have created an environment in which business can flourish, characterised by low inflation, low interest rates, competitive exchange rates and reduced administrative burdens on businesses.