asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will detail the statutory and administrative provisions governing the constitution of first and second tier co-operatives in the United Kingdom and the other member States of the European Community.
Co-operatives are not required by United Kingdom law to adopt any particular form, but if they wish to qualify for certain tax advantages, for grants under the agricultural and horticultural co-operation scheme, or for special treatment under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976, they are required to meet a number of specific conditions. The legal status of co-operatives varies from country to country within the European Community. Since the details are extremely complex, I am sending my hon. Friend a note describing the position more fully.