asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement of the arrangements for the operation of the variable premium scheme for beef during February.
This afternoon my right hon. Friend made a statement to the House about the new support arrangements for beef to operate from 3rd March. For February, March and April the Council of Ministers has agreed that the variable premium arrangements will continue. Pending implementation of the Council's decision, authority for these continuing payments will rest on the Estimate which will be presented in due course and the confirming Appropriation Act.