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Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 6 February 1980

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects the EEC Commission to present its proposals on how third party producers of sheepmeats are to be treated.

In December the Council of Ministers authorised the Commission to open negotiations with third country suppliers of sheepmeat on voluntary restraint arrangements under which they would agree to limit their sendings to the Community to recent levels in return for a lowering of the Community tariff. Negotiations on these arrangements are expected to begin shortly but may take some time. We are prepared to accept such arrangements provided the terms are freely agreed by New Zealand.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects British lamb exports to the Continent to gain unimpeded access.

As soon as the French Government are prepared to accept their responsibilities under the Treaty and comply with the European Court's unequivocal judgment against their import restrictions on British lamb. The Commission has instituted further court proceedings against the French for non-compliance and I hope the French Government will realise the damage they are doing to Community institutions and comply. They are not precluded from adopting legal national measures to support their producers pending agreement on a sheepmeat regime.

Weighted average over ten years5·476·116·345·41
ItalyNetherlandsBelgium United kingdom
Weighted average over ten years5·21*6·636·604·55
* 1974–75 to 1978–79.
Variations from year to year in the yield of sugar per hectare are due to changes in beet yield, in sugar content of the beet and in sugar extraction rates achieved in processing.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much quota B and quota C sugar has been grown in the United Kingdom since entry to the European Economic Community; and how this compares with production in other European Economic Community countries over the same period.