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Anti-Discriminatory Measures

Volume 116: debated on Monday 11 May 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he has taken to resist discrimination against British agriculture.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1987]: The Government have repeatedly made it clear that we will not stand for measures which discriminate against the United Kingdom. We have fought successfully for this principle. In 1984 we resisted proposals to limit barley intervention on the basis of fibre content which would have adversely affected the United Kingdom. We have repeatedly had to fight to retain the beef variable premium scheme, on the last occasion securing its retention for an unprecedented two years, and to avoid discriminatory proposals on the headage limits for ewe premia. We avoided paying a disproportionate share of the sugar elimination levy introduced as a result of the 1985–86 review of the sugar regime. In the 1986 price negotiatons we successfully resisted discriminatory proposals on cereals coresponsibility levy exemption and on the headage limit for beef premia. Throughout 1986 and into 1987 we successfully insisted on parity with France on Monetary Compensatory Amounts (MCAs) on pigmeat, eggs and poultry. Most recently in the Council agreement in December 1986 we ensured that the milk measures were applied fairly across the whole Community; retained flexibility in the milk quota system and obtained green rate devaluations for beef and sheepmeat.We have consistently made it clear that all Community producers must take their fair share—but no more than their fair share—of the burdens of CAP reform. This is again a key point in our approach to the 1987 price fixing negotiations.