asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will publish in the Official Report the estimate she made, in calculating the
prices, which shows that membership is at present having no significant effect overall, takes into account the effect of Community-financed subsidies as well as levies and duties. In the first quarter of 1975 membership was responsible for a slight overall reduction in prices. This was because cereals and sugar prices were lower as a result of membership, although there was no significant effect on the retail price of tea, coffee or cocoa. The most favoured nation rates of duty on imports into the United Kingdom of tea, coffee and cocoa on 1st January 1972 and 1st January 1975, and the present MFN CET rate are set out below. The bulk of the United Kingdom's imports of tea, coffee and cocoa continue to enter duty free from the developing countries of the Commonwealth.
of 1975 membership was responsible for a slight overall reduction in prices because cereals and sugar were cheaper as a result of membership, although the estimate assumes a slight increase in the price of imported lamb. The most favoured nation rates of duty on imports into the United Kingdom of lamb on 1st January 1972 and 1st January 1975 and the present full MFN CET rate are set out below. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture gave notice in the Council of Ministers on 4th March that he will be seeking a substantial reduction in the Community tariff on lamb. Tariffs on foodstuffs generally will be negotiated as part of the multilateral trade negotiations which are currently in progress. It is not possible to say, therefore, what they will be in 1978.
cost of the EEC membership, of the cost to the United Kingdom consumer and taxpayer, respectively, of the Common agricultural policy on beef in 1974 and in 1975 to date, taking into account quantitative restriction on imports, the increase in duties on importation since 31st December 1972 and the removal of Irish beef from the United Kingdom market into intervention storage.
The latest estimate of the effect of membership on food prices, which shows that membership is at present having no significant effect on food prices overall, takes into account the effect of Community-financed subsidies as well as levies and duties. In the first quarter of 1975 membership was responsible for a slight overall reduction in prices. On the retail price of beef, however, membership is thought to have had no significant effect.Market prices have been low because United Kingdom beef production reached record levels in the marketing year 1974–75, providing 86 per cent. of total supplies. Despite the restriction of imports from non-member States for much of the period in question, total net imports continued at a high level, at prices which benefited from monetary compensatory amounts.Prices were not sustained by intervention buying. Instead premium payments, derived from the United Kingdom deficiency payments system, were negotiated in the course of the year by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, so that producers' incomes are supported out of Community and Exchequer funds.The withholding of Irish beef from the market and its purchase by the Irish intervention authorities is, of course, a consequence of Irish and not of United Kingdom membership of the EEC.