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Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will specify each reform of the common agricultural policy secured by the British Government since 1972, the nature of the reform and the date on which the reform was introduced.

The operation of the common agricultural policy is subject to a continuing process of negotiation and adaptation, and it is not practicable to list all the decisions of the Council, including those on the restraint of support prices to which the British Government have contributed since the signing of the Treaty of Accession. The following developments were, however, of special significance:

Application of Community financed monetary compensatory amounts as import payments for countries like the United Kingdom with devaluing currencies:—February 1973.
Provision for variable premiums to be paid to beef producers in the United Kingdom so that intervention ceased to be the first line of support in the beef market:—November 1974.
Arrangements for subsidising the imports of sugar during the sugar shortage of 1974–1975:—November 1974.
The signing of the Lomé Convention which secured access for 1·3 million tonnes of sugar from the developing countries in Africa, the Carribean and the Pacific as well as providing almost completely free entry for their other agricultural goods:—February 1975.
Specific provisions for the supply of New Zealand butter up to 1980 and for a review taking place of access provisions for New Zealand cheese:—March 1975.
The Less Favoured Areas Directive which made provision for farmers in less favoured areas, including the United Kingdom hill areas, to receive special assistance so that they did not have to rely entirely on the general price level:—April 1975.
More flexible import arrangements for beef under which the level of external protection falls when Community prices rise:—April 1977.
Provision for milk producers to share in the cost of dealing with the surplus:—May 1977.
Provision for a 100 per cent. Community financed subsidy on butter sold in the United Kingdom:—May 1977.
In the course of the revision of the EEC hops régime the position of Hops Marketing Board was secured as the channel through which income aid is paid to United Kingdom producers until the end of 1980:—May 1977.
Introduction of separate support for non-breadmaking wheat at the same level as for other feed grains:—August 1977.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if he will list all outstanding reforms of the common agriculture policy which it is his policy to pursue; what is the nature of each such reform; what is the present position in negotiations to secure each reform; and when he expects all such negotiations to be completed.

I set out the outstanding aims that were before us for the reform of the common agricultural policy in my address to the House on 11th May 1977, and we shall continue to pursue these objectives. I have brought the House up to date on five occasions since then, and I shall continue to do so regularly.—[Vol. 931, c. 1359–1375; Vol. 932, c. 450–461; Vol. 933, c. 509–10; Vol. 935, c. 2048–2059; Vol. 936, c. 836–837; Vol. 938, c. 677–685.]