Archive (TNA)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office files, European Community Department

EC: FCO record of conversation (“informal record” of Milan European Council, 28/29 June) [argument over IGC] [declassified Nov 2016]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: FCO30/6307 f22
Editorial comments:

Dated 28 June, but covers the whole two days of the Council. A telegram account of the Council by the UKREP to the EC, Michael Butler, also survives and can be read here. There is also a letter by Robin Renwick on "the atmospherics". Read other documents selected from this file. The full file from which this item is taken can be seen here - FCO30/8037. Two versions of the record survive in the file, one slightly fuller the other amended, both given in this document with an explanatory coverpage. The record is significantly fuller than those kept by the FCO for other European Councils, particularly in giving brief accounts of bilaterals between the leaders and discussions between Foreign Ministers, as well as the Council dinner. No formal minutes are supposed to be kept by the Council itself, although an informal “proces-verbal” may exist in the archive of the European Council in Brussels. A copy of the amended text can be found on FCO30/6308 f2. It shows a wide distribution within the FCO and that copies went also to our EC Ambassadors, with the warning: "The usual caveats apply, i.e., it is strictly for your own background information (and that of your senior staff) and should not be quoted directly" (Wall to Fretwell, 23 July 1985).

Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 58pp
Themes: Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU), European Union (general), Economic, monetary & political union, European Union Single Market, British relations with France, British relations with Italy, British relations with Netherlands, British relations with the Federal Republic of Germany, Foreign Secretary's meetings, MT's meetings as PM