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Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what concessions were made as a result of the renegotiation of the terms of entry in relation to the foodstuffs for which, in his statement in Luxembourg on 5th June 1974, he said there was a strong case for improved terms of access for imports from countries outside the Community.

My right hon. Friend's statement was made to the Council of Ministers meeting in Luxembourg on 4th June 1974.As a result of substantial changes which were secured in Community policies,

  • (a) continued access on fair terms has been secured for sugar from the developing countries of the Caribbean and elsewhere;
  • (b) improvements have been obtained in the arrangements for dairy products from New Zealand;
  • (c) reductions in Community tariffs have been secured on a range of items of particular interest to Commonwealth countries in the GATT Article XXIV:6 negotiations;
  • (d) agreement has been secured on important reductions in Community tariffs on foodstuffs imported from the Mediterranean countries with which the Community is negotiating agreements;
  • (e) the Community's mandate for the multilateral trade negotiations provides for the negotiation of further reductions in agricultural tariffs as well as for wide-ranging negotiations on agricultural products in general;
  • (f) the Lomé Convention guarantees almost completely free entry into the Community for the agricultural exports of the 46 African Caribbean and Pacific signatory countries;
  • (g) agreement has been secured on a significant extension of the coverage of the Community's Scheme of Generalised Preferences in respect of processed agricultural products.
  • Further details are set out in paragraphs 80–90 of the White Paper on British Membership of the European Community (Cmnd 6003).