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European Economic Community

Volume 827: debated on Monday 6 December 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Tobacco Advisory Committee about the implications for tobacco growing in the United Kingdom of the existing European Economic Community regulations on tobacco leaf, should the United Kingdom join the Common Market.

None, Sir. Tobacco is not grown commercially in the United Kingdom for use in products for smoking and this situation is unlikely to change.

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us something of the discussions now going on between the Commission and the tobacco growing interests in France and Italy with respect to the future pattern of taxation on tobacco products? Would he bear in mind that if the Common Market pattern is introduced over here, it is likely to raise the price of cigar and pipe smoking relative to the cost of cigarettes, with all the implications which that would have for the National Health Service and for cancer?

These general discussions will cover the overall implications for the industry of our entry to the E.E.C., including, of course, the implication of the regulations on raw tobacco.