Lord Grocott – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Grocott on 2016-04-14.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 7 March (HL6442), whether they support the application to join the EU of (1) Turkey, (2) Macedonia, (3) Montenegro, (4) Albania, and (5) Serbia.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

We support all five countries’ aspiration to join the EU as an important means to drive reform. Turkey’s accession process remains the most effective mechanism to support continuing reform in Turkey. In the Western Balkans, the prospect of EU membership is helping to build stability and promote cooperation on issues that matter to the UK, including organised crime and illegal migration. The strict conditionality of the enlargement process means that it takes many years for a country to complete accession negotiations, undertake reforms and achieve the progress needed to meet EU membership criteria. Any decision to enlarge the EU requires the unanimous agreement of the governments of all existing Member States and ratification in accordance with each country’s constitutional arrangements. In the case of the UK, under the European Union Act 2011 ratification cannot take place without an Act of Parliament to approve the new accession. We can therefore ensure that our requirements are respected in any future EU enlargement. The UK will insist that controls on free movement cannot be lifted until accession countries’ economies have converged much more closely with existing Member States.