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Agricultural Prices

Volume 77: debated on Thursday 18 April 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the lates position regarding the Common Market price fixing negotiations; and whether he will make a statement.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) and the hon. Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Deakins) earlier today.

Now that we have a regime of milk quotas, has not the milk co-responsibility levy lost all meaning? Surely my right hon. Friend ought to start negotiations in the Common Market to try to get rid of it?

I agree very much with what my hon. Friend says. He will know that the Commission has proposed to adjust from 3 to 2 per cent. the milk co-responsibility levy. I have said consistently that if one is to try to help dairy farmers I would much rather it were done through reducing the co-responsibiliy levy than by increasing the price.