Select Committee on European Communities Twelfth Report


Letter from John Taylor MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Corporate and Consumer Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry, to Lord Hoffmann, Chairman of Sub-Committee E

  I have seen a copy of the above Report, issued to make available to the House evidence provided by my Department relating to the review of the EC Merger Regulation. I am grateful for the Sub-committee's continued input.

  In my letter to you of 19 November 1996, reproduced in your Report, I set out the Government's position in response to the preliminary conclusions of the Sub-committee. Over the intervening period there has been a lull in the review process, and there is nothing new to report.

  Over the next few months I expect the search to continue for a workable selective formula to catch cases currently qualifying for examination in three or more Member States.

  I note the Sub-Committee's reiterated support for such a selective scheme. The Government is determined to be as constructive as possible in aiming to reach an acceptable, workable and proportionate solution to the problem of multiple filings.

  If for some reason satisfactory agreement in this direction proved impossible, I would fully expect to look again at the options open to us in deciding how to proceed. You will appreciate, however, that I cannot prejudge the conclusions of that exercise.

  I shall of course keep you informed of developments through the scrutiny process.

22 January 1997

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