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Sheepmeat

Volume 986: debated on Thursday 19 June 1980

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26.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what will be the saving to the British taxpayer of the introduction of the proposed European sheepmeat agreement.

Under the sheepmeat regime national support arrangements would be replaced by Community financed arrangements. Much will depend on the development of prices, production and consumption in response to the new situation. There will, however, be an Exchequer saving in the fat sheep guarantee payments, which last year cost £11 million. The United Kingdom Exchequer's unadjusted contribution to the cost of the new regime seems likely to be significantly greater than this, but much less than the wholly FEOGA financed payments in the United Kingdom, and is in any case affected by the overall budget settlement for 1980 to 1982.

35.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what response has been received by him from the Government of New Zealand to the recent agreement in the European Economic Community on sheepmeat ; and whether he will make a statement.

Following the agreement on a sheepmeat regime reached by the Council of Agriculture Ministers on 28–29 May, the New Zealand Government confirmed that they were willing to negotiate with the Community on voluntary restraint arrangements.

The regime will not be implemented until voluntary restraint arrangements are agreed.

36.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what negotiations have taken place with New Zealand regarding the proposed new sheepmeat agreement in the European Economic Community.

Her Majesty's Government have kept in close touch with the New Zealand Government throughout the discussions in the European Community about arrangements for sheepmeat.Negotiations between the European Community Commission and New Zealand on a voluntary restraint agreement have now begun.